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Panthers#8217; seniors key to sectional

JACKSON — When you’re locked in a tight, critical game, you usually look for the seniors to step up and make the key plays.

Tyler Shoemaker, Aaron Ross and Kyle Rase are seniors for the Chesapeake Panthers and in Saturday’s Division III sectional championship they stepped up and made key plays.

Shoemaker had six critical points and Ross, who earlier hit some big shots, converted two critical foul shots as the Panthers held on to beat the Federal Hocking Lancers 57-56.

Rase had all eight of his points in the first quarter including a pair of 3-pointers.

“(Shoemaker and Ross) did a good job. We told the senior this was their last hurrah and we’re riding their shoulder. Everyone plays up or you go home,” said Panthers coach Ryan Davis.

“Kyle Rase did a good job, too. He got us started.”

Shoemaker’s 3-point play with 3:25 left gave the Panthers a 51-47 lead. The Lancers came back to tie the game, but Shoemaker’s layup with 40 seconds to go put Chesapeake ahead 55-53.

Following a turnover, Ross was fouled and hit both ends of a one-and-one with 19 seconds to play that put the lead at 57-53.

Grant Smith hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Lancers (17-5) to set the final score.

Chesapeake (17-5) will play at 5:30 p.m. next Sunday at the Ohio University Convocation Center in the district semifinals against Huntington Ross.

The lead changed hands nine times in the first half and was tied on six occasions. The score was tied only once in the half, 53-53 with 1:30 to play.

The game was tied 27-27 at the half, but Ross hit a 3-pointer coming out of the gate before Cory Vales put-back got the Lancers within a point.

Ross followed with an 18-footer to extend the lead. Nathan Copley later hit a 3-pointer and Shoemaker hit back-to-back baskets to make it 41-35.

Ross hit another 3-pointer with eight seconds left in the third quarter and the Panthers had their biggest lead of the game at 48-40.

Kory Williams and Vales each sank two foul shots and Vales converted a 3-point play at the 4:07 mark and the Lancers were within 48-47 to start the fourth quarter.

Shoemaker then answered with his own 3-point play and the Panthers on their seniors’ heroics to get the win.

The Panthers shot 34 percent (20-of-59) from the field but did make eight 3-pointers and pulled down 12 offensive rebounds, half their total.

Federal Hocking was 24-of-43 for nearly 56 percent, but the Lancers were just 7-of-7 at the line and made one 3-pointer.

Shoemaker finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists and seven steals. Ross scored 12 points and Kyle Webb added nine.

Williams had 19 points and Vales and McCune 12 each.

Federal Hocking16111316=56

Chesapeake207219=57

FEDERAL HOCKING (17-5): Jerad Gandee 2 0 0-0 4, Kory Williams 8 0 3-3 19, Cory McCune 6 0 0-0 12, Cory Vales 4 0 4-4 12, Grant Smith 3 1 0-0 9, Tyler Thompson 0 0 0-0 0, Evan McCune 0 0 0-0 0, Justin Stanley 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-43 7-7 56. 3-point goals: 1-7. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 4-24=28 (Vales 14, Gandee 5, C. McCune 4). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 5. Steals: 3. Turnovers: 19.

CHESAPEAKE (17-5): Aaron Ross 2 2 2-4 12, Kyle Rase 1 2 0-0 8, Tyler Shoemaker 6 0 4-6 16, Kyle Webb 0 2 3-4 9, Trent Saunders 2 0 0-0 4, Nathan Copley 1 2 0-0 8, Aaron Donahoe 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-59 9-14 57. 3-point goals: 8-24. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 12-12=24 (Shoemaker 9, Copley 4). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 7 (Shoemaker 5). Steals: 12 (Shoemaker 7, Rase 2, Ross 2). Turnovers: 10.