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Slowing Burleson holds key for Panthers district hopes

CHESAPEAKE – Not only will the Chesapeake Panthers try to slow down the pace of the game, they’ll also be trying to slow down Andrew Burleson.

Friday, March 08, 2002

CHESAPEAKE – Not only will the Chesapeake Panthers try to slow down the pace of the game, they’ll also be trying to slow down Andrew Burleson.

That’s the goal of the Panthers as they face the Wheelersburg Pirates at 4:15 p.m. Saturday in the DIvision III district finals at Ohio University.

Burleson, a 6-foot-6 senior, averaged 29.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. He has already signed Wright State.

"He’s a great player. I don’t think you can stop him. You just hope that you can keep him from breaking out with some huge game," Panthers coach Norm Persin said.

Joining Burleson in the starting lineup will be 6-foot senior guard Dusty Winebrenner who averages 5.2 points and 4.0 rebounds, 6-1 junior Matt Weaver (3.8, 1.7), 6-3 senior forward Bryan Yelley (15.1, 6.9), and 6-4 senior center Nate Weaver (3.2, 3.5).

Wheelersburg is 20-2 on the season. The Pirates won the Southern Ohio Conference with a 14-0 record. Their only losses this season were 68-54 to Laurenburg (N.C.) Prep and 56-50 at Gallipolis.

A couple of common opponents were Minford and Ironton. Chesapeake won 70-51 over Minford while Wheelersburg beat the Falcons 73-45 and 77-62. The Pirates beat Ironton 78-50 and Chesapeake topped Ironton 56-42 and 42-31 in the sectional finals.

"Wheelersburg is the best team we’ve played this season. Our biggest concern is stopping Burleson, but we are also concerned about how well we match up with them," Person said.

Chesapeake (16-5) is led by 6-4 junior guard Aaron Gossett with a 14.5 points per game average and 8.0 rebounds. He also led in steals and assists.

Nick Karle, a 6-foot junior guard, averaged 10 points a game along with 4.0 rebounds for the Panthers.

Matt Rucker, a 6-6 junior, and 6-5 senior Brad Fulton provide the size inside while 6-1 senior Tommie Hill (5.0 ppg, 2.5 reb.) gives the Panthers an outside threat.