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Lady Panthers win SJI title

Chesapeake Lady Panthers’ Jackie Nelson looks at the lane as she drives against the Wayne defense. Chesapeake beat Wayne to win the St. Joe Invitational. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — At first the Chesapeake Lady Panthers sputtered. A quick tune-up before the second quarter got their engine running really well.

After a slow start, the Lady Panthers got their offense in gear and rolled past the Wayne Lady Pioneers 53-31 to win the St. Joe Invitational Blue Bracket championship.

The game was tied 3-3 at the end of the first quarter, but Amanda Ruffner scored seven points and Kristen Webb drained a pair of 3-pointers as Chesapeake took a 21-9 halftime lead.

“We start out slow, probably from playing four games in five days. The slow start did surprise me,” said Lady Panthers’ coach Chris Ball.

“But we found our rhythm, we hit a few shots and things fell into place.”

Ruffner scored six more points in the third quarter as Chesapeake outscored Wayne 17-8 to build a 38-17 cushion.

Chesapeake (10-4) was 20 of 43 from the field and held Wayne to just 13 of 45 from the floor. The Lady Pioneers missed all eight 3-point attempts.

“The first time we played them they hit seven 3s. This time they didn’t make any. The defense did a really good job on their shooters,” said Ball.

Ruffner led Chesapeake with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Webb scored 13 points while Jordan Porter had six rebounds.

“Kristen Webb has been sick all week, she missed two games and she came back and played without skipping a beat,” said Ball. “She played well. She just works hard all the time. She’s a tremendous person on and off the floor.”

Shania Hooks scored 11 points and Sam Queen 10 to pace Wayne (7-6).

Ruffner was named the MVP of the tournament. Webb and Sarah Mayo were named to the all-tournament team.

Wayne 3 6 8 14 = 31

Chesapeake 3 18 17 15 = 53

WAYNE (7-6): Paige Childers 0 0 0-2 0, Samantha Queen 5 0 0-0 10, Taylor Bartram 1 0 0-0 2, Bonnie Runyon 0 0 1-2 1, Danielle Perry 1 0 0-0 2, Erica Kitchen 0 0 0-0 0, Allison Toney 1 0 1-4 3, Shania Hooks 4 0 3-5 11, Paige Kelly 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 13-45 5-13 31. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 0-8. Rebounds: 26 (Childers 9). Assists: 6 (Hooks 2). Steals: 10 (Hooks 2). Turnovers: 19.

CHESAPEAKE (10-4): Kristen Webb 2 3 0-0 13, Casey Underwood 0 0 0-0 0, Sarah Mayo 2 0 2-7 6, Amanda Ruffner 7 0 5-5 19, Jackie Nelson 3 0 1-2 7, Sarah Rice 1 0 0-0 2, Anna Mayo 0 0 0-0 0, Jillian Ellis 0 0 0-0 0, Maggie Smith 1 0 2-2 4, Ashlee Miller 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Porter 1 0 0-2 2, Mackenzie Moore 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-43 10-18 53. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 3-7. Rebounds: 37 (Ruffner 10, Porter 6). Assists: 10 (Smith 4). Steals: 10 (Nelson 3). Turnovers: 20.