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Panthers win OVC outright

PEDRO - You can call the Chesapeake Panthers greedy, but you also have to call them Ohio Valley Conference champions.

Outright champions, that is.

Chesapeake avoided sharing the league title as they beat the Rock Hill Redmen 46-36 Friday.

Despite losing four starters from last season, the Panthers won their ninth straight conference championship with an 8-2 record.

"It's nice to win the league outright," Panthers coach Norm Persin said. "We never dreamed going into the season we'd be 18-2 or we'd win the league outright.

"This has been a great bunch to coach. They listen and do what you ask of them. They play well as a team and they're very unselfish."

Daniel Thompson scored 13 points to go with three assists and two steals for the Panthers (18-2). Trent Finley and P.J. Rase scored 10 points each. Andy Stapleton had five rebounds.

Zach Mullins and K.C. Christian scored 13 points each for the Redmen, who finished 12-8 overall and tied for second place in the OVC at 6-4. It was the third straight runner-up finish for the Redmen.

"Our kids never quit, and they haven't quit all year," Redmen coach Marty Mills said. "We were picked fifth in the league, and not many people expected us to have a winning record. That's a tribute to our kids.

"Zach Mullins stepped up and played a great game. Roger Joseph wasn't expected to play, K.C. had a really good game, and Donald Cade did a real good job on the boards."

Chesapeake led 12-8 after the first quarter despite six points by Mullins.

Brennan Hall scored seven points in the second quarter and Finley hit a pair of 3-pointers as Chesapeake took a 25-16 halftime lead.

Thompson scored six points and the Panthers defense held the Redmen to four points as the lead grew to 35-20.

Christian had nine points in the fourth quarter as Rock Hill rallied to within eight points. The Redmen had the ball with a chance to cut the deficit to six, but a turnover gave the ball back to Chesapeake and Finley hit a 3-pointer that pushed the lead

to nine.

The Panthers then converted 9 of 13 foul shots down the stretch as Thompson was 7 of 8 and Finley had a pair.

"We've shot foul shots well all season. When the game's close at the end and teams put us at the foul line, we've been able to knock down the shots," Persin said.

Chesapeake plays in the Division III sectional tournament at 6 p.m. next Friday at the University of Rio Grande. Rock Hill plays Miami Trace at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Div. II sectional tournament at Southeastern Ross High School.

Chesapeake12131011-46

Rock Hill88416-36

CHESAPEAKE (18-2, 8-2):

Brennan Hall 3 0 1-1 7, Daniel Thompson 3 0 7-8 13, P.J. Rase 5 0 0-1 10, Trent Finely 1 2 2-2 10, Andy Stapleton 2 0 0-0 4, Jeremy Miller 1 0 0-0 2, Zach Morrison 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb McComas 0 0 0-2 0, Mike Stapleton 0 0 0-0 0, Justin Porter 0 0 0-0 0, Jeff Thornburg 0 0 0-0 0, Brent Ransbottom 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-38

(2)

10-14

46. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 24 (A. Stapleton 5). Steals: 8 (Rase 3, Finley 3, Thompson 2). Assists: 12 (Rase 3, Thompson 3, A. Stapleton 3). Turnovers: 12.

ROCK HILL (12-8, 6-4):

K.C. Christian 3 1 4-6 13, Sean Mullins 0 1 0-0 3, Donald Cade 2 0 0-0 4, Zach Mullins 6 0 1-1 13, Nick Snavely 0 0 1-2 1, Roger Joseph 1 0 0-0 2, T.J. Blagg 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-36

(2)

6-9

36. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Joseph.