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McMaster’s FT gives Chesy 52-51 win

ATHENS — It’s not always how many you miss, but the number you make.

The Chesapeake Panthers had a rare night as they made just 13-of-23 from the foul line including 3-of-9 in the fourth quarter.

But it was a foul shot by Austin McMaster with 5.1 seconds left that put the Panthers up 52-51, and Nathan Copley came up with a steal on the inbounds play to seal the win and beat the Sugarcreek Garaway Pirates Wednesday in the Division III regional semifinals.

Chesapeake (20-4) was holding the ball for the last shot with the game tied at 51. McMaster drove from near the Panthers’ bench to the foul line and was fouled.

McMaster missed the first shot of the double bonus attempts but hit the second.

“We were like one of five at the end, but that one counts,” said Panthers coach Ryan Davis. ‘I told (McMaster) the guy was overplaying him. I told him to go.”

McMaster bounced back from a sub-par game in the district finals to scored 15 points including 12 in the first half.

“He’s a sophomore and he’s played very timid. He came out a little less timid,” said Davis. “Hopefully, he’ll get that out of him.”

Copley led the Panthers with 16 points and also had seven rebounds.

“Until this year, (Copley) has never had a good game in the Convo. He’s played pretty well up here this year,” said Davis.

The lead changed hands five times in the first half. Garaway’s biggest lead was 18-12 with 5:46 left in the half, but the Panthers went on a 7-0 run capped by Peter Hintz’s 15-footer at the 4:24 mark and it was 19-18.

McMaster had two layups in the final 48 seconds to put Chesapeake up 27-24 at the half.

“We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds in the first half. We talked at the half and said we had to cut that out. We couldn’t afford to give up second chances,” said Davis.

“We gave up some unguarded 3s. They’re a tough matchup. We did a good job until the end when we gave up a few shots.”

Chesapeake led 43-38 at the end of the third quarter and took its biggest lead at 45-38 on a steal and layup by Copley with 6:59 to play.

But Duane Troyer hit two 3-pointers and Ryan Troyer drained a third trifecta with 4:29 left that tied the game at 48.

McMaster hit a baseline jumper and Copley a free throw for a 51-48 lead. Hunter Shaw hit a 3-pointer with 42 seconds remaining and Chesapeake went into its stall game.

Duane Troyer led Garaway (18-6) with 13 points — all in the second half. Paul Honiford had 11 points and 11 rebounds while Ryan Troyer added 10 points.

The Panthers will be going for the school’s first trip ever to the Final Four when they play Ironton at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the regional finals at Ohio University.

“We have a chance to do something that has never been done. We have a chance to make history,” said Davis.

Ironton beat Chesapeake 66-63 in overtime in the second game of the regular season at Ironton. The Panthers squandered a 5-point lead with 30 seconds to play in regulation.

Garaway 12 12 14 13 = 51

Chesapeake 10 17 16 9 = 52

SUGARCREEK GARAWAY (18-6): Hunter Shaw 2 1 0-0 7, Tanner Klein 3 0 0-0 6, Brennan Mullet 2 0 0-0 4, Ryan Troyer 1 2 2-2 10, Paul Honigford 4 0 3-3 11, Drake Kopp 0 0 0-0 0, Duane Troyer 2 2 3-5 13, Jordan Miller 0 0 0-0 0, Seth Miller 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Renner 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-44 8-10 51. 3-point goals: 5-18 (Shaw 1-1, Klein 0-2, Mullet 0-3, R. Troyer 2-9, Honiford 0-1, D. Troyer 2-2). Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 10 offense, 18 defense = 28 (Honigford 11). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 9 (Mullet 6). Steals: 4 (R. Troyer 2). Turnovers: 16. Blocked shots: 3 (Honigford 3).

CHESAPEAKE (20-4): Peter Hintz 2 0 3-4 7, Nathan Copley 6 0 4-7 16, Austin McMaster 5 1 2-6 15, Trent Saunders 3 0 2-4 8, Colin Kennedy 2 0 2-2 6, Colton Lindsey 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-45 13-23 52. 3-point goals: 1-8 (Hintz 0-1, Copley 0-3, McMaster 1-1-4). Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: 14 offense, 13 defense = 27 (Copley 7, Saunders 6, Kennedy 6). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 2 (Hintz 2). Steals: 12 (Saunders 3, Copley 2, Kennedy 2, McMaster 2, Lindsey 2). Turnovers: 10. Blocked shots: 2 (Saunders, Kennedy).