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Chesapeake gets past Ironton

Chesapeake's Javon Thompson (33) brings the ball up the court as Ironton's Trey Fletcher applies the defense. The Panthers pulled away to post a 78-70 win Tuesday. (The Ironton Tribune / Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

CHESAPEAKE — The big three did their usual. The little four made the difference.

Chesapeake’s main trio of Nathan Copley, Austin McMaster and Colin Kennedy combined for 48 points, but they needed the help of Brandon Noble, Eric Kennedy, Patrick Hintz and Javon Thompson add a big assist as the Panthers got past the Ironton Fighting Tigers 78-70 Tuesday in a clash of Southeastern Ohio powers.

Copley had 24 points, McMaster 16 and Kennedy eight as he sat out part of the second quarter in foul trouble. But clutch shots by the supporting cast helped the Panthers overcome a 36-point performance by Ironton’s Zac Carter.

“We made sure they took (Kennedy) away and our so-called role players had to step up and they did,” said Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis.

“I know (Kennedy) didn’t score a lot of points tonight, but they had to use a lot of effort to keep him from scoring points. We know teams are going to try and take him away and he did a good job playing through it.”

There were six lead changes and four ties until a 3-pointer by Patrick Hintz with 5:28 to play gave Chesapeake the lead for good at 60-57.

The Panthers (4-0) had just seven turnovers and shot 47 percent from the field including 8 of 14 from behind the arc. Without a 4 of 12 from the floor in the third quarter, they were 24 of 47 for 56 percent.

“Chesapeake just executes so precisely. They don’t beat themselves. They put the pressure on you to beat them,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

“They have two quality players in Copley and McMaster who can score, but they get everyone else involved, too. They’re a solid team. They’ll be hard for any team to beat.”

Ironton (4-2) got 14 points and nine rebounds from Trey Fletcher, but all his scoring came in the first half. Nick Culbertson had eight points off the bench.

“We knew they were going to score, but we didn’t want to give up 70 points. I thought we played passively on defense,” said Davis.

“Still, Ironton is one of the top D-3 teams in the state, let alone just Southeast Ohio, so to come out with a win is a positive for us.”

The Fighting Tigers held their biggest led of the game at 25-18 after Carter converted a 4-point play with 6:07 left in the first half, but a layup and 3-point play by McMaster rallied the Panthers to take a 34-31 lead.

A triple by Copley made it 39-35 and a driving layup by Thompson just before the buzzer gave Chesapeake a 43-38 halftime lead.

Carter’s 12-footer tied the game at 50-50 with 2:49 on the third quarter clock. Thompson followed his own missed shot but Carter drained a trifecta with 42 seconds left in the third quarter and Ironton led 53-52.

The lead see-sawed to start the fourth quarter with Carter’s baseline jumper tying the game at 57 with 6:09 left. But Fletcher went to the bench with his fourth foul moments later and then Hintz hit his key 3-pointer.

Ironton was down 70-67 on a foul shot by Carter at the 2:03 mark, but Colin Kennedy made two foul shots and Copley had a big putback to make it 74-67.

Ironton 18 20 15 17 = 70

Chesapeake 15 28 9 26 = 78

IRONTON (4-2): Malcolm Morton 0 0 3-4 3, Travis Elliott 2 0 1-4 5, Zac Carter 7 3 13-15 36, Josh Murphy 1 0 0-0 2, Trey Fletcher 7 0 0-1 14, Nick Culbertson 3 0 2-4 8, Josh Glover 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 24-51 19-28 70. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Fletcher (4th 0:38). 3-point goals: 3-11. Rebounds: 11 offense, 25 defense = 36 (Fletcher 9, Elliott 6, Murphy 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 13 (Morton 5, Elliott 5). Steals: 2 (Culbertson, Elliott). Turnovers: 13. Blocked shots: 4 (Carter 2, Fletcher 1, Culbertson 1).

CHESAPEAKE (4-0): Nathan Copley 6 3 3-5 24, Patrick Hintz 2 2 0-0 10, Javon Thompson 2 0 0-0 4, Austin McMaster 6 0 4-7 16, Colin Kennedy 3 0 2-2 8, Eric Kennedy 0 2 1-2 7, Brandon Noble 1 1 4-5 9. Totals: 28-59 14-21 78. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: Thompson (4th 5:00, Hintz 4th 2:03). 3-point goals: 8-14. Rebounds: 8 offense, 21 defense = 29 (Copley 9, McMaster 7). Team/deadball rebounds: 5. Assists: 7 (Copley 3). Steals: 4. Turnovers: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (McMaster 3, Copley 1).