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Panthers top Pointers for sectional title

JACKSON — Better late than never.

Chesapeake wasn’t doing what it wanted to do for two and a half quarters. But once the Panthers got their way, they were able to pull away and beat the South Point Pointers 47-35 Saturday to win the Division III sectional finals.

The game was just 18-15 at halftime and stayed close until midway through the third quarter when the Panthers were able to get up by seven points.

South Point cut the deficit back to three, but the Panthers got going again and opened up a nine-point lead by the end of the third quarter.

“They made it physical and we didn’t do a good job getting it into our pace until late,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis. “Everybody started getting rebounds at the end and that’s big for us.”

The biggest problem for the Panthers in the first half was making shots. They were just 8-of-27 from the field and 1-of-10 from behind the arc.

“We got good looks and didn’t hit anything. We still have up 15 points the first half, so I thought we played good defense,” said Davis.

With the win, Chesapeake (15-4) will play Piketon at 7:15 p.m. next Sunday in the district semifinals at Ohio University. South Point fell to 12-8 including three losses this season to the Panthers.

“They beat us three times. They’re just better than us. We were hoping to get them once, but it just didn’t happen. You have to give them credit,” said Pointers’ coach Chris Barnes.

Nathan Copley scored 24 points to lead the Panthers with 20 points coming in the second half including 11-of-13 from the foul line. Chesapeake was 17-of-20 at the line while the Pointers were only 1-of-3.

“We all guarded pretty well and when things got crazy, we kept our cool,” said Copley.

“We just got some more motion on offense (in the second half) and Peter (Hintz) did a good job defensively. The guys did a good job inside and things just bounced our way.”

Austin McMaster added 12 points for Chesapeake. Copley had eight rebounds and Trent Saunders seven as the Panthers held a 30-26 edge in that department. Hintz had nine steals and five assists.

Blake Barnes and Ethan Prater scored 11 points each for the Pointers while Cody Taylor had nine rebounds.

After the low-scoring first half, Chesapeake went up 26-19 on a 17-footer by Colin Kennedy and a foul shot by Copley.

Barnes and Prater hit back-to-back jumpers to make it 26-23 with 2:26 left in the third quarter, but Copley hit two more foul shots and a driving layup for a 30-23 lead.

Taylor’s layup had the Pointers down 30-25, but Copley sank two technical foul shots and both ends of a one-and-one with four seconds left in the third quarter and it was 34-25.

Barnes tried to get the Pointers back in the game with a layup and baseline jumper to open the fourth quarter and make it 34-29 at the 6:18 mark.

Chesapeake responded as Saunders hit a foul shot, Copley made a layup off a pass from Hintz and then sank a foul shot after he was fouled on a steal.

Prater’s layup cut the lead to 38-31, but Copley converted a 3-point play and McMaster sank two free throws for a 43-31 lead with 1:50 to play.

South Point 4 11 10 10 = 35

Chesapeake 9 9 16 13 = 47

SOUTH POINT (12-8): Matt Button 0-0 0-0 0, Blake Barnes 5-15 1-2 11, Ethan Prater 5-9 0-1 11, Cody Taylor 3-9 0-0 6, Kyle Winkler 2-8 0-0 4, Tevin Mitchell 1-1 0-0 3, Jordan Bruton 0-1 0-0 0, Greg Taylor 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 16-45 1-3 35. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 2-9 (Mitchell 1-1, Barnes 0-3, Prater 1-1, Bruton 0-1, Winkler 0-3). Rebounds: 13 offense, 13 defense = 26 (C. Taylor 9, Prater 4). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 5 (Button 2). Steals: 8 (Prater 4). Turnovers: 20. Blocked shots: 5 (Prater 2, C. Taylor 1, G. Taylor 1).

CHESAPEAKE (15-4): Peter Hintz 0-7 2-2 2, Nathan Copley 6-15 11-13 24, Austin McMaster 4-9 3-3 12, Trent Saunders 2-5 1-25, Colin Kennedy 2-5 0-0 4, Colton Lindsey 0-0 0-0 0, Patrick Hintz 0-0 0-0 0, Seth Ransbottom 0-0 0-0 0, Gunner Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Brandon Noble 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-41 17-20 47. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 2-13 (Pe. Hintz 0-2, Copley 1-8, McMaster 1-3). Rebounds: 13 offense, 17 defense = 30 (Copley 8, Saunders 7). Team rebounds: 6. Assists: 8 (Pe. Hintz 5, McMaster 2). Steals: 15 (Pe. Hintz 9, Copley 4). Turnovers: 15. Blocked shots: Kennedy 1.