The Tigers started a four-game road trip within the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, visiting Milford on Tuesday, January 16th, and Little Miami on Friday, January 19th. Both games were revenge opportunities for the Tigers, as they had lost to both teams earlier in the year, giving the Tigers a little extra motivation coming into these two huge ECC matchups.
The week started with the battle for the Miami Township Victory Bell at Milford. The first quarter was back-and-forth where both teams struggled to make shots, shooting a combined 8/26 in the quarter. Led by a couple of buckets from Jack Sauer (12), the Tigers trailed 10-9 after one. This back-and-forth style continued well into the second, as Chase Martin (10) and Will Bertoli (11) helped keep the Tigers in this game. However, the Eagles caught fire late in the second quarter and ended the half on a 16-0 run to take a 34-17 lead at the break, led by seniors Gavin Dalen and Michael Kirk. Entering the third, the Tigers fought to get back into this one, as Sauer, Andrew Breese (12), and Carson Brown (12) tried to bring some life into the Tiger's offense. However, this comeback wasn’t enough and the 26-point lead the Eagles had at the end of the third would prove to be enough, as Milford won 68-46. Sauer led the Tigers with 15 points, while Bertoli grabbed 7 rebounds.
In their last game of the week and their second of four in their ECC road trip, the Tigers visited Morrow to try and enact some revenge on the Little Miami Panthers. This game started better than the previous one, as the Tigers got hot fast. After an Elisha Jones and-one to open the game, the Tigers rattled off 17 straight points and took an early 17-6 lead at the end of the first. This dominance advanced into the second, as the Tigers continued to score at will, led by Sauer and Martin. This hot shooting from Loveland, combined with Little Miami’s offensive struggles, led to a 30-11 lead at the intermission for Loveland. This lead would be enough to give the Tigers the win, despite a fierce comeback by the Panthers where they outscored the Tigers 28-17 in the second half. The Panthers got close but clutch free throws from Brown and Will Bertke (11) sealed the deal and the Tigers survived 47-39. Bertke led the scoring with 11, followed closely by Sauer with 9.
A huge week now approaches as they finish their ECC road trip. They will first pay a visit to Forest Hills to take on Turpin on Tuesday, January 23rd, hoping to avenge their early season loss to the Spartans. They will then head up north to face the Lebanon Warriors on Friday, January 26th, as the Tigers try to complete the season sweep. The Tigers will then return home on Saturday, January 27th as they take on the Harrison Wildcats on Senior Night. Make sure to support the Tigers this week!