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The Award Goes To…

ATHENS — And the winner of the Academy Award for best defensive performance in a Division III district tournament game is …

The Chesapeake Panthers for their 73-46 win over the Piketon Red Streaks in the district semifinals Sunday at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.

The Panthers forced 21 turnovers including 13 steals and held Piketon to 16-of-47 shooting for just 34 percent.

“That may be our best defensive effort all season,” said Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis. “Rebounding was a key along with our defense. When we give up 20 points in the first quarter, it’s usually off offensive rebounds. We didn’t let that happen.”

The Panthers dominated the boards 41-27 with Trent Saunders pulling down 15 and Colin Kennedy 11. Piketon was limited to only one offensive rebound in the first half.

Austin McMaster had 28 points as Chesapeake pounded away inside at the Red Streaks’ defense. Saunders had 14 points and Kennedy added nine. Kennedy also have five blocked shots and altered other attempts in the paint.

“We wanted to make sure we got the ball inside and try to eliminate (Piketon’s 6-foot-6 Kennon) Brush,” said Davis.

“They tried a triangle-and-two and a box-and-one, so we made sure we took good shots. We didn’t want them to run. They run well in the open court.”

Getting a special award was Nathan Copley who scored in the second quarter to give him 1,000 career points for Chesapeake. He finished with 11.

Evan Legg scored 20 points for Piketon (15-7) who played without 6-6 Caleb Southworth.

The Panthers were leading 7-4 when Copley made a layup and McMaster drained a 3-pointer to open up a 12-4 lead. Legg made two straight shots to end the first quarter and it was 12-8.

A 17-footer by Legg with 3:28 left in the half got Piketon within 23-18. But the Red Streaks could get no closer as the Panthers began to pull away.

A couple of steals by Peter Hintz — he finished with six — ignited an 8-2 run that put the Panthers up 33-22 at the half.

Jordan Buckler started the second half with a layup for Piketon, but Chesapeake took over from there.

A trey and put-back by Copley, a layup by Saunders and two baskets to end the third quarter opened up a 52-33 cushion.

McMaster’s layup with 4:31 left gave the Panthers’ their largest lead of the game at 65-37.

Chesapeake will play Zane Trace at 7 p.m. Saturday in the district finals. Zane Trace edge Northwest 52-48 in the other semifinal game Sunday.

Chesapeake 12 21 19 21 = 73

Piketon 8 14 11 13 = 46

CHESAPEAKE (18-4): Peter Hintz 2-7 1-4 5, Nathan Copley 5-11 0-2 11, Austin McMaster 12-20 2-3 28, Trent Saunders 5-9 4-4 14, Colin Kennedy 4-8 1-2 9, Colton Lindsey 0-2 0-0 0, Patrick Hintz 1-1 0-0 2, Seth Ransbottom 1-2 0-0 2, Brandon Noble 0-0 0-0 0, Gunner Hill 0-4 0-0 0, Javon Thompson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 31-65 8-15 73. 3-point goals: 3-13 (Pe. Hintz 0-1, Copley 1-4, McMaster 2-5, Hill 0-1, Ransbottom 0-1). Fouls: 12. Fouled out: Kennedy (4th 4:01). Rebounds: 15 offense, 26 defense = 41 (Saunders 15, Kennedy 11). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 9 (Pe. Hintz 5). Steals: 13 (Pe. Hintz 6, McMaster 5). Turnovers: 17. Blocked shots: 5 (Kennedy 5).

PIKETON (15-7): Kennan Brush 2-5 0-2 4, James Lewis 2-7 1-2 5, Evan Legg 8-16 4-4 20, Jordan Buckler 2-11 3-4 7, Jamie Helton 2-5 2-2 6, Jared Vulgamore 0-1 0-0 0, Jacob Braniff 0-1 2-2 2, Craigen Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Farmer 0-0 0-0 0, Garrett Barker 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 16-47 12-16 46. 3-point goals: 2-5 (Legg 0-1, Buckler 0-2, Helton 2-2). Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 6 offense, 21 defense = 27 (Buckler 6, Helton 6). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 2. Steals: 5 (Buckler 2). Turnovers: 21. Blocked shots: 4 (Brush 2).