• 50°

Tournament trail ends

COLUMBUS — Somebody should have unclogged the spray nozzle on the Windex.

Chesapeake was unable to clean the glass, and as a result the Panthers were out-rebounded 2-to-1 as they lost 59-48 to the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds Thursday in the Division III state semifinals at the Ohio State University Schottenstein Center.

“(Rebounding is) something they’re good at. We didn’t do a good job at that. It was a big turning point in the game. That hurt us,” said Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis.

The Thunderbirds cleaned the glass for 39 rebounds while the Panthers had just 20. Ty O’Connor had 10 rebounds for LCC to almost match the combined total of Chesapeake’s Colin Kennedy (six) and Trent Saunders (five).

“Rebounding was big. That was our number one goal. They were bigger than us,” said Lima Catholic coach Bob Seggerson. “(Chesapeake) was ready to go. We just had too many weapons.”

But rebounding wasn’t the Panthers only problem.

Making their first-ever state tournament appearance, the Panthers managed to hit just 36.5 percent of their shots.

Leading scorers Nathan Copley and Austin McMaster were a combined 12-of-36 as they scored 16 and 15 points, respectively.

“We didn’t have the same offense we did in the regular season. The shots just didn’t fall for us today,” said Copley.

“We came out and we couldn’t get going,” said McMaster “We were trying to force too much. They’re defense had an effect on us.”

Chesapeake (21-5) started well in the first quarter by taking a 15-11 lead.

A 3-pointer by Copley with 6:36 left in the half put Chesapeake up 18-15. But the Panthers wouldn’t score again until Trent Saunders hit the second of two foul shots with 1:29 on the clock. During the scoring drought, Lima Catholic scored 12 unanswered points and Chesapeake found itself down 27-19.

Austin Stolly’s free throw with just two seconds left in the half made it 28-19 at the break.

“That wasn’t our best performance, but a lot of that was due to Lima Central Catholic,” said Davis. “Our defense wasn’t pathetic. Our offense didn’t perform.”

Lima Catholic led by as many as 12 in the third quarter after a layup by O’Connor with 2:24 on the clock.

Peter Hintz turned a steal into a free throw and followed that with a layup and the Panthers were down 40-31. Desi Kirkland’s layup pushed the Thunderbirds’ lead to 42-31 just before the end of the quarter.

But Chesapeake wasn’t done.

Copley hit a short-range jumper and McMaster buried a trifecta to get the Panthers within 44-38 with 5:50 to play.

Lima Catholic went back to its inside game as Stolly scored on a layup while the Panthers were missing a couple of 3-point attempts.

“We called a timeout (with the scored 44-38) and talked about it. I guess I didn’t do a good job explaining it. We should’ve shown more patience. We let the emotions get to us. We took shots we typically don’t take. We had six minutes left and we acted like we were running out of time,” said Davis.

Chesapeake was forced to foul and Lima Catholic converted 10-of-12 from the line over the final 2:42 to end any hopes of a Panthers’ comeback.

The Thunderbirds made 20-of-40 shots but struggled from the outside. However, they scored 36 of their points in the paint.

“Our defense carried us today. We missed some shots. We haven’t shot the ball well in the tournament,” said Seggerson.

Leading the drive down scoring lane was the 5-foot-11 senior point guard Kirkland who had 22 points as he made 7-of-9 floor shots and 8-of-11 at the line.

“It could be anybody. We have four or five guards. Today was my calling. I felt like I could take my guy to the rim,” said Kirkland.

Davis said Kirkland’s play as critical to the outcome.

“Kirkman is a phenomenal player. He gave us problems all night,” said Davis.

Seggerson said the three-year starter took over the offensive flow of the game.

“Desi stepped up. He has really blossomed into a terrific point guard and leader. He knows when to go and when not to go. He’s on top of his game right now,” said Seggerson.

“We have a lot of guards and that’s one of our strengths. They’re all capable of getting by you and scoring. That’s important, especially in high school basketball. Guard play is very critical.”

Lima Catholic (22-4) will play Orrville at 10:45 a.m. Saturday for the state championship. All four divisions championship games will air live on Sports Time Ohio (Time Warner channel 73).

Ohio High School Athletic Association

2010 Division III Boys’ State Semifinals

Ohio State University Schottenstein Center

Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds 11 17 14 17 = 59

Chesapeake Panthers 15 4 12 17 = 48

LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC (22-4)

Player FG-FGA 3pt FT OR DR Ast St Blk PF TP

Sam Stolly 3-6 0-2 0-0 0 2 0 1 2 0 6

Ty O’Connor 3-6 0-1 2-2 1 9 1 0 0 1 8

Jon Steiger 2-4 0-0 2-3 2 1 0 1 0 1 6

Bubba Krieg 2-3 0-0 5-6 1 2 2 2 0 3 9

Desi Kirkman 7-9 0-0 8-11 2 3 3 4 2 3 22

Austin Stolly 3-7 0-1 1-4 1 4 1 0 0 0 7

Billy Taflinger 0-2 0-0 1-2 1 1 3 0 0 1 1

Derek Allen 0-3 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0

John Kidd 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Taylor Royster 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Corey Stump 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Jacob Rigali 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Tre’On Johnson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Team 1 5

Totals 20-40 0-4 19-28 12 27 10 8 4 10 59

Turnovers: 17. Deadball rebounds: 4

CHESAPEAKE (21-5)

Player FG-FGA 3pt FT OR DR Ast St Blk PF TP

Peter Hintz 3-5 0-0 1-2 1 1 3 3 0 0 7

Nathan Copley 6-22 2-12 2-3 0 1 2 1 0 4 16

Austin McMaster 6-14 3-6 0-0 1 2 2 0 0 5 15

Trent Saunders 3-5 0-0 2-4 2 3 1 2 1 3 8

Colin Kennedy 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 5 0 0 1 5 0

Colton Lindsey 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Gunner Hill 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

Seth Ransbottom 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Patrick Hintz 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Brandon Noble 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

Javon Thompson 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Team 1 0

Totals 19-52 5-20 5-9 7 13 8 6 2 18 48

Turnovers: 11. Deadball rebounds: 3