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Panthers hold off Garaway; one step from state tourney

Chesapeake’s Patrick Hintz looks for an open teammate as he drives toward the basket during the Panthers 62-57 win over the Pirates. Chesapeake will now play Portsmouth at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the regional finals with a state tournament berth on the line. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

ATHENS — For most teams, there’s no place like home. For Patrick Hintz, there’s no place like the Convo.

Hintz triggered a pivotal 12-0 run in the second quarter that gave Chesapeake the lead for good as he had yet another good game in the Ohio University Convocation Center Wednesday.

Hintz’ sparkplug play helped the Panthers hold off the Sugarcreek Garaway Pirates 62-57 in the Division III regional semifinals and a berth in the title game against Portsmouth at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Patrick has been huge herein all the games. We might move all our games up here next year,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

Hintz finished with 12 points — seven in the pivotal run — to go with five assists and three steals as Chesapeake moved within one win of returning to the state tournament for the second straight year.

“I like playing up here. I like the rim,” said Hintz.

“(Garaway) is a disciplined team. We played good defense the first three quarters and kept the pressure on them. They’re a half-court team and we wanted to make them play a fast-paced game.”

The Panthers (23-1) got the pace they wanted in the second quarter after Garaway had taken a 13-12 lead.

Colin Kennedy hit a 15-footer, Hintz then made a layup, stole the ball that led to a foul shot by Nathan Copley, drained a 3-pointer and made another layup to a 22-13 lead.

Austin McMaster had a putback basket to complete the 12 unanswered points and it was 24-13 with 2:25 left in the half.

A 10-footer by Eric Kennedy gave Chesapeake a 29-19 halftime lead.

Chesapeake went on a 12-1 run to begin the second half capped by McMaster’s 3-point play to open up a 41-20 lead with 3:41 on the clock.

Ryan Troyer hit a 3-pointer for the Pirates but Copley came back with a layup just before the buzzer and the Panthers were up 47-29.

But Garaway (20-4) wouldn’t go away.

Paul Honigford hit a 3-pointer and sank four foul shots and it was 47-36. A trifecta by Jordan Miller with 1:41 to go cut the deficit to 52-47.

McMaster hit two free throws and Copley’s layup pushed the cushion to 56-47 with 1:19 left.

Troyer’s triple with 12 seconds made it 59-54, but Colin Kennedy hit a fol shot and McMaster two more to seal the win.

“We did a great job for three quarters. They are a very good basketball team. We knew they wouldn’t quit,” said Davis. “We got a little tentative and were back on our heels like the other night.

“You relax against them for a second and you’ll be in trouble.”

McMaster had 17 points and 11 rebounds as four Panthers reached double figures. Copley had 14 points and seven rebound while Colin Kennedy had 10 points and eight rebounds.

The 6-foot-8 Honigford led Garaway with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He had just six points in the first half against Kennedy.

“Honigford is a good player. My main focus was to play good defense against him,” said Kennedy. “If I could stop him, I knew I could trust my other players to score.”

Portsmouth beat Wheelersburg 45-39 in the second game Wednesday.

Garaway 10 9 10 28 = 57

Chesapeake 10 19 18 15 = 62

SUGARCREEK GARAWAY (20-4): Duane Troyer 3 0 1-1 7, Hunter Shaw 1 1 1-2 6, Ryan Troyer 0 3 1-2 10, Tanner Klein 4 0 1-1 9, Paul Honigford 4 1 8-8 19, Gabe Elmore 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Miller 0 1 0-0 3, Seth Miller 0 1 0-0 3, Tyler Walter 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Renner 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-55 12-14 57. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: R. Troyer (4th 0:02). 3-point goals: 7-22. Rebounds: 9 offense, 19 defense = 28 (Honigford 10, D. Troyer 7). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 8 (Shaw 3, D. Troyer 2). Steals: 9 (R. Troyer 2, D. Troyer 2). Turnovers: 13.

CHESAPEAKE (23-1): Nathan Copley 3 2 2-4 14, Patrick Hintz 3 2 0-1 12, Javon Thompson 0 0 0-2 0, Austin McMaster 5 0 7-7 17, Colin Kennedy 4 0 2-5 10, Eric Kennedy 2 1 2-2 9, Brandon Noble 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-49 13-21 62. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 5-15. Rebounds: 10 offense, 28 defense = 38 (McMaster 11, C. Kennedy 8, Copley 7). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 9 (Hintz 3, Copley 3). Steals: 6 (Hintz 3, Thompson 2). Turnovers: 16.