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Copley’s buzzer-beater lifts Chesapeake to SJI title

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Spring Valley kept waiting for the Chesapeake Panthers to fade.

But the only fading they did was a 3-point fade away shot by Nathan Copley at the buzzer that gave the Panthers a 52-51 overtime win over the Timberwolves in the 33rd annual St. Joe Invitational championship Saturday.

“I thought we did a good job against a very disciplined team. We played pretty well defensively. They’re the type of team that waits for you to break down and then they make you pay for it,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

Copley scored 21 points to lead the Panthers who were playing in the large school division despite their small division size. Austin McMaster had 17 points and 7 rebounds.

Colin Kennedy grabbed 8 rebounds and Peter Hintz had 5 rebounds and 4 assists as the Panthers improved to 8-3.

J.T. Nelson scored 23 points for the T-Wolves (8-4). Andrew Ratcliffe added 11 points.

McMaster had 8 points in the first half as the Panthers held a scant 17-15 lead.

“They wanted to control the tempo and they do it as well as any team I’ve seen,” said Davis.

Copley — the tournament’s Most Valuable Player — scored 19 of his points in the second half including the game-tying shot in the fourth quarter.

In overtime, the T-Wolves scored to take the lead but Copley drained his game-winning trey at the buzzer.

“Every time we got down we made a play. We didn’t get nervous because they had a lead and then go haywire,” said Davis.

Copley was 4-of-9 from behind the arc.

Spring Valley 8 7 14 13 9 = 51

Chesapeake 8 9 12 13 10 = 52

SPRING VALLEY (8-4): Steel 0 0 0-0 0, J.T. Nelson 3 5 2-2 23, Jordan Wells 0 1 2-2 5, Andrew Ratcliffe 5 0 1-3 11, Zach Robateau 2 0 1-2 5, George Brody 2 1 0-1 7, Ross Evans 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-43 6-10 51. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 7-20. Rebounds: 16. Turnovers: 4.

CHESAPEAKE (8-3): Peter Hintz 2 1 0-1 7, Nathan Copley 2 4 5-6 21, Colton Lindsey 0 0 0-0 0, Austin McMaster 6 0 5-5 17, Trent Saunders 1 0 1-2 3, Colin Kennedy 1 0 2-2 4. Totals: 17-39 13-16 52. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 5-14. Rebounds: 29 (Kennedy 8, McMaster 7, Hintz 5). Assists: 7 (Hintz 4). Steals: 1 (McMaster). Turnovers: 10.