Pirates pull away from Panthers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

ATHENS — Things went from good to bad in more ways than one.

With six minutes to play, the Chesapeake Panthers were locked in a good, tight game with the Wheelersburg Pirates Wednesday night at the Ohio University Convocation Center.

But back-to-back 3-pointers by Drew Spradlin started the score to turn bad, and then bad shot selection prevented any comeback hopes as the Panthers lost to Wheelersburg 62-53 in the Division III regional semifinals.

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“They hit a stretch where the lead went to six or seven and we took some bad shots. We thought we had to shoot whatever shot we got,” Panthers coach Norm Persin said.

The game had been tied five times and the lead had exchanged hands three times until midway through the third quarter.

A 3-pointer by Justin Porter got Chesapeake even at 38-38 with 4:08 left in the third quarter. A trey by Seth Cowgill gave the Pirates the lead for good at 41-38.

Jeffrey Thornburg made a layup for Chesapeake but then Spradlin drained a triple and it was 44-40. Chesapeake trailed 46-43 at the end of the third quarter on a layup by Tyler Shoemaker.

A layup by Porter with 5:59 left cut the deficit to 49-47. Spradlin then hit his 3-pointers and it was 55-47 with 4:53 to go.

A layup by Shoemaker with 52 seconds left made it 59-51. Camden Miller stepped out of bounds against the Panthers press and P.J. Rase was fouled. Rase sank both foul shots and the Panthers had life at 59-53 with 42 seconds remaining.

But Nick Carrington sank both ends of a one-and-one with 39 seconds left and he made the first of the bonus situation foul shots 14 seconds later to seal the outcome.

Porter led Chesapeake with 17 points and seven rebounds. Rase scored 14 points and Shoemaker 12.

Miller led the Pirates with 18 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

“Miller sees the floor so well. He passes the ball real well. We had someone in his face one time and he stepped back and hit one of those Larry Bird 3s,” Persin said.

Besides Miller, Spradlin scored 17 points and Carrington 14. Wheelersburg was 9 of 17 from the 3-point channel.

The loss ended the careers of six Chesapeake seniors including Rase, a four-year starter. The Panthers ended the season 21-3.

“We were 88-6 with this bunch. A lot of people would love to trade us,” Persin said.

“The character of these kids is good and those are the things you’ll remember about them. The kids were prepared. They practiced their butts off. They were real intense.”

Wheelersburg, 22-2, looms as the heavy favorite in Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. regional championship game against Ironton. The Pirates won an earlier meeting 67-58 despite the absence of Miller who missed the game due to an injury.



CHESAPEAKE (21-3): Caleb McComas 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0, Justin Porter 6-10 (3-4) 2-2 17, P.J. Rase 5-13 (04) 4-4 14, Jeffrey Thornburg 1-6 (0-3) 0-0 2, Brent Ransbottom 4-9 (0-0) 0-2 8, Tyler Shoemaker 5-9 (0-1) 2-3 12, Mike Stapleton 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0, Zach Morrison 0-0 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 21-48



53. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 7-17=24 (Porter 7, Thornburg 7, Ransbottom 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 8 (Shoemaker 4, Rase 2). Steals: 3 (Thornburg 2, Porter 1). Turnovers: 6. Blocked shots: Porter 1, Ransbottom 1.


Nick Carrington 4-5 (1-1) 5-6 14, Seth Cowgill 3-11 (3-9) 0-0 9, Drew Spradlin 6-10 (3-4) 2-2 17, Gary Salyers 2-7 (0-0) 0-2 4, Camden Miller 7-12 (2-3) 2-3 18, Matt Jenkins 0-1 (0-0) 0-0 0. Totals: 22-46



62. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 8-17=25 (Miller 11, Salyers 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 8 (Miller 3, Salyers 2, Cowgill 2). Steals: 2 (Carrington, Salyers). Turnovers: 7. Blocked shots: Miller 2, Carrington 1.