Chesapeake Panthers’ Gage Rhoades (23) drives hard up the court against the Rock Hill defense during Wednesday’s Division III sectional tournament semifinal game. Chesapeake won 44-31. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)
Chesapeake Panthers’ Gage Rhoades (23) drives hard up the court against the Rock Hill defense during Wednesday’s Division III sectional tournament semifinal game. Chesapeake won 44-31. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Archived Story

Panthers pull away to beat Redmen

Published 5:16am Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jim Walker


JACKSON — Everyone needs a little vacation time from work. That is, unless you’re a basketball team.

Layoffs aren’t good for basketball teams, especially their offenses. That was evident Wednesday as the Chesapeake Panthers used a late surge to pull away from the Rock Hill Redmen 44-31 in the Division III sectional tournament semifinals.

Neither teams shot well in the slow-paced game. Chesapeake was 16-of-45 for 36 percent and Rock Hill was just 12-of-46 for 26 percent.

However, the Panthers converted 12-of-16 at the line and the Redmen were only 6-of-13.

Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis said the game’s pace wasn’t a factor, but the constant interruptions in the schedule due to the weather affected the offenses.

“We’ve had (slow down games) plenty of times before. But we’ve had eight days off and seven days off, 11 days off. We’re not great offensively, but when you get playing a little more you get consistent,” said Davis.

Rock Hill coach Dave Hopper said the cold shooting was critical but he couldn’t fault his team’s effort.

“It’s hard to win that way. I don’t know how many shots we missed in the lane,” said Hopper.

“They’ve given me everything they’ve got all season. This was no different. They continued to battle. We had them on the ropes. They had a couple of breakaways at the end and that kind of let them loose.”

Chesapeake (13-7) will play Ironton at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the finals.

The Panthers led 6-4 at the end of the first quarter. Rock Hill tied the game 10-10 on a putback by Alex Nance with 2:57 left in the half.

Andrew Saunders hit a 10-footer and Gage Rhoades made a layup and Chesapeake had the lead for good at 14-10 with 1:42 on the clock. Saunders’ 14-footer made it 16-10 at the half.

The Redmen got with 18-14 early in the second half before the Panthers went up 25-20 at the end of the quarter.

Austin Collins made a free throw and followed up his own missed shot to get Rock Hill within 25-23 with 5:43 to play.

Rhoades threw a floor-length pass to Saunders for a layup with 3:20 left and it was 29-24. Rhoades then came up with a steal and hit Saunders for another layup and it was 31-24 with 3:03 to go.

A triple by Joey Stidham and a layup by Austin Barcus cut the deficit to 35-31 at the 1:11 mark, but the Redmen were forced to foul and the Panthers 7-of-9 from the line over the final 1:04 including a three-point play by Caleb Heffner to cap a 9-0 run to end the game.

Heffner had 13 points and 13 rebounds while Rhoades finished with 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and four steals. Saunders added 10 points.

“We have two guys we rely on who are sophomores and who have never seen varsity time (before this season) and made big contributions. That makes a difference. You rebound and make a couple of layups,” said Davis.

Collins had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Redmen (4-19).

Rock Hill 4 6 10 11 = 31

Chesapeake 6 10 9 19 = 44

ROCK HILL (4-19): Aaron Dalton 1 0 0-0 2, Alex Nance 2 0 0-0 4, Joey Stidham 0 1 3-4 5, Austin Collins 6 0 3-8 15, Jordan Hairston 0 0 0-0 0, Chance Blankenship 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Barcus 2 0 0-1 4. Totals: 12-46 6-13 31. 3-point goals: 1-9. Rebounds: 14-O, 19-D = 33 (Collins 8, Dalton 6, Barcus 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 7. Assists: 4 (Dalton 3). Steals: 5 (Stidham 2, Dalton 2). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.

CHESAPEAKE (13-7): Nate Smith 2 0 0-1 4, Gage Rhoades 4 0 4-4 12, Brad Meadows 0 0 1-2 1, Caleb Heffner 5 0 3-3 13, Andrew Saunders 4 0 2-4 10, Blake Lester 0 0 -0 0, Austin Carpenter 0 0 1-2 1, Aaron Thompson 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 16-45 12-16 44. 3-point goals: 0-3. Rebounds: 12-O, 26-D = 38 (Heffner 13, Rhoades 6, Meadows 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 4 (Rhoades 2). Steals: 8 (Rhoades 4, Meadows 2, Saunders 2). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.


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