LISBON - Back in December, the Sebring Trojans weren't exactly setting the world on fire. After going through three coaches in as many years, it's taken some time for the Trojans to find their footing in yet another system.
But boy have they ever.
Jake Hubbs had a game-high 18 points and Sebring defeated Lisbon 52-36 for its third-straight win and fourth win out of its last five on the road.
With a Division IV tournament opener against Heartland Christian on tap for Tuesday, the Trojans are hitting their stride at exactly the right time.
This from a squad that started the year 2-4 and 0-4 in league play.
"We never really thought we were gonna be in trouble," head coach Mark Baia said of his team's slow start.
"We gave a couple games away there early in the season, but everything is getting better as we move along. Defensively we're shutting teams down, and when you do that it's huge for your team."
Tuesday was no different as Sebring held Lisbon to just eight first half points and only two points in the entire second quarter.
Since its 2-4 start, Sebring has gone 9-4 overall and stands at 11-8 with one regular season game remaining.
"We're just playing within our system," Baia said. "It took us a while to play basketball the way we want it done. It's a shame we're almost done with the season here, but it's good to be playing this way around tournament time. Hopefully we can keep things rolling."
The Trojans enter the Struthers district as the No. 7 seed, and a first-round win would advance the team to play the No. 2 seed Youngstown Christian.
But Baia isn't overly concerned with his opponents. He feels as long as the Trojans play to their capability, they should fare well no matter who they face.
"I think we match up pretty well with everyone up there," Baia said of the Struthers district. "I feel we can play with anybody on any given night and if we go hard for four quarters and keep playing within the system, we could go far."
Dakota Wagner chipped in 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Blue Devils. Jake Arbitter pulled down 10 rebounds, and Corey Baia had eight points and three assists.
For Lisbon (10-9, 8-6 ITCL Tier 1), Zack Rovnak had 15 points and four assists but sat out a good deal of the second quarter with foul trouble.
Jake Borg added seven points, and C.J. Dawson finished with nine rebounds. Drew Sweeney had six steals.
Sebring also won the jayvee contest 46-41. Dylan Mick and Jerry Billingsley had 14 points each. Corey Brammer had 33 Lisbon's 41 points.
Sebring (11-8, 7-7 ITCL Tier 2) hosts Southington Friday, and begins tournament play Tuesday, Feb. 28 against Heartland Christian.
Lisbon travels to face Heartland Christian Friday.
SEBRING: 11 14 9 18 - 52
LISBON: 6 2 18 10 - 36
SEBRING SCORING: Corey Baia 2-3-8, Mitch Baddeley 3-0-7, Jake Hubbs 6-4-18, Dakota Wagner 4-2-10, Joe Campbell 2-0-4, Jake Arbitter 1-2-4, Tyler Hamby 0-1-1. TEAM TOTALS: 18, 12-26, 52.
LISBON SCORING: Matt Spencer 2-0-4, Ben Spencer 2-0-5, Jake Borg 3-1-7, Zac Barnes 2-0-5, Zack Rovnak 5-5-15. TEAM TOTALS: 14, 6-10, 36.
THREE POINTERS: Sebring 4 (Hubbs 2, Baia, Baddeley), Lisbon 2 (B. Spencer, Barnes).