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OVC Champions

SOUTH POINT — James Taylor is famous for his song “Fire and Rain.” The Chesapeake Panthers were singing their own version Friday night.

Nathan Copley and Austin McMaster were on fire and as a result the Panthers now “reign” as the Ohio Valley Conference champions.

Copley and McMaster combined for 43 points on 13-of-22 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 from the foul line as the Panthers beat the South Point Pointers 63-52 to clinch their second straight league title.

Copley also had 7 rebounds.

“The kids have worked hard all season. The league is pretty balanced and South Point is a good team. They’ve earned (the league title),” said Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis.

Besides the offense, the Panthers got a solid defensive performance from Peter Hintz who held the Pointers’ leading scorer Blake Barnes to 12 points. Davis noted that Hintz’s ankle had healed since the last meeting between the teams two weeks ago.

“Hintz was a little more mobile than the last time we played them. He did a pretty good job,” said Davis.

Chesapeake (12-4, 9-0) held South Point to just one field goal in the first quarter in taking a 14-3 lead.

The Pointers managed to cut the deficit to 26-18 at the half.

“We started off well,” said Davis. “We didn’t rebound tremendously. In the first half it seemed like South Point ended up with every loose ball.

“But (Trent) Saunders rebounded well late in the second half and Colton Lindsey came in and rebounded well in the second half.”

South Point (11-7, 7-2) kept battling back and got as close as 34-31 in the third quarter before the Panthers pulled away to a 44-36 lead at the end of the quarter.

“Give our guys credit. They didn’t go away and kept their composure,” said Pointers’ coach Chris Barnes.

“We didn’t shoot well in the first quarter, but give Chesapeake credit. They moved the ball well and got some easy shots with their ball movement. They were picked to win (the league) and they did it.”

Chesapeake came back to outscored South Point 19-16 in the fourth quarter and Colton Lindsey was 5-of-6 from the foul line to help seal the outcome.

Blake Barnes had 12 points to lead four Pointers in double figures. Ethan Prater, Kyle Winkler and Cody Taylor all scored 11 points each.

The Panthers were 21-of 40 from the field including 6-of-10 from behind the arc.

Chesapeake 14 12 18 19 = 63

South Point 3 15 18 16 = 52

CHESAPEAKE (13-4, 9-0): Peter Hintz 1 1 0-2 5, Nathan Copley 5 3 7-8 26, Colton Lindsey 0 0 5-6 5, Austin McMaster 4 2 3-4 17, Trent Saunders 3 0 0-0 6, Colin Kennedy 2 0 0-0 4, Gunner Hill 0 0 0-0 0, Patrick Hintz 0 0 0-0 0, Brandon Noble 0 0 0-0 0, Javon Thompson 0 0 0-0 0, Seth Ransbottom 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-40 15-20 63. 3-point goals: 6-10. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Kennedy.

SOUTH POINT (11-7, 7-2): Tevin Mitchell 1 1 0-0 5, Matt Button 0 0 0-0 0, Blake Barnes 2 2 2-2 12, Kyle Winkler 1 3 0-0 11, Jordan Bruton 0 0 0-0 0, Ethan Prater 4 0 3-5 11, Cody Taylor 5 0 1-3 11, Greg Taylor 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 14 6 6-10 52. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Barnes.