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Panthers finish strong to beat Wheelersburg

CHESAPEAKE — It’s not how you start but how you play the next two quarters.

After falling behind early, the Chesapeake Panthers pulled together and controlled the game over the next two quarters en route to a season-opening 62-53 win over the Wheelersburg Pirates Saturday.

Wheelersburg jumped out to an 8-0 lead before the Panthers got within 12-8 at the end of the quarter.

The Panthers were guilty of five turnovers in the first quarter but had just one in the second quarter and two in the third quarter.

“As bad as we played to start the game, to only give up 12 points wasn’t bad. We played pretty well in the second and third quarters,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

Austin McMaster had 7 points as Chesapeake outscored Wheelersburg 18-9 in the second quarter to take a 26-21 halftime lead.

McMaster scored 7 points and Trent Saunders 6 in the third quarter as the Panthers pulled away to a 46-31 cushion.

Wheelersburg (0-1) outscored the Panthers 22-16 in the fourth quarter as they took advantage of eight turnovers.

McMaster finished with 20 points to lead the Panthers. Saunders had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Nathan Copley added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.

Colin Kennedy had 11 points and Peter Hintz 8 assists for the Panthers.

Andrew Bendolph scored 15 points, Andy Stegman 13 and Tyler Lang 10 to pace the Pirates.

“They’re lot better team than last year. Lang is a pretty good player and he can shoot. Bendolph played as well as I’ve seen him play. Stegman is a nice playe,” said Davis.

“Trent and Colin both did a good job inside. Stegman is a beast to have to deal with. Nathan (Copley), Colton Lindsey and Austin McMaster all did a nice job.”

The Panthers play at Ironton Tuesday.

Wheelersburg 12 9 10 22 = 53

Chesapeake 8 18 20 16 = 62

WHEELERSBURG (0-1): Tom Graf 0 0 0-0 0, Aaron Parker 0 0 0-0 0, Coley Warner 0 0 0-0 0, Andrew Bendolph 4 1 4-9 15, Webb Ballard 2 1 0-0 7, Cole Miller 2 0 0-0 4, Tyler Lang 1 2 2-2 10, Shane Ward 0 0 0-0 0, Andy Stegman 4 0 5-5 13, Isaac Duduit 0 0 0-0 0, Andy Slone 2 0 0-1 4. Totals: 15 4 11-17 53. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Stegman. Rebounds: 22. Turnovers: 14.

CHESAPEAKE (1-0): Gunner Hill 0 0 0-2 0, Peter Hintz 0 0 2-4 2, Nathan Copley 3 1 4-4 13, Patrick Hintz 0 0 0-0 0, Colton Lindsey 0 0 2-2 2, Austin McMaster 6 2 2-2 20, Trent Saunders 5 0 4-6 14, Colin Kennedy 4 0 3-4 11. Totals: 21-47 3-9 18-24 62. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Kennedy, Copley. Rebounds: 35 (Saunders 11, Copley 8). Assists: 17 (Pe. Hintz 8, Copley 6). Steals: 5 (Saunders 3). Turnovers: 16.