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Panthers prepare for Portsmouth

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

ATHENS — If you’re going to the Division III regional championship game Saturday night, don’t blink.

The Chesapeake Panthers and Portsmouth Trojans both like to run up and down the floor and they’ll see who can outrun the other when the meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Ohio University Convocation Center.

Each team is on a winning streak and has a key trio of scorers.

Portsmouth (20-4) has won 15 in a row while the second-ranked Panthers (23-1) are on a 14-game streak.

Portsmouth is led by the scoring trio of Wayne Evans with 18.3 points a game, Dion McKinley with a 16.9 average, and Andrew Bendolph with 138 points a contest.

Zaide Whitley (3.9 ppg) and Tre Underwood (6.5 ppg) round out the starting lineup.

“Portsmouth is very athletic,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis. “They have size, speed, quickness, and they can shoot the ball from the perimeter. They’re a tough match up for us.”

Austin McMaster leads the Panthers at 18.9 points per game with Nathan Copley at 14.5 and Colin Kennedy 12.0.

Peter Hintz (7.0) and Javon Thompson (5.9) complete the starting lineup. The top players off the bench is sharp-shooting Eric Kennedy (9.9 ppg) and Brandon Noble (6.7).

Portsmouth has McKinley at 6-foot-6 and Underwood at 6-5 on the inside. Chesapeake counters with 6-6 Colin Kennedy and 6-5 McMaster.

The winner will advance to the state tournament in the Ohio State University Schottenstein Center next Friday at 2 p.m. against the winner of the Youngstown Ursuline and Cleveland Central Catholic winner.

The championship game is next Saturday at 4:30 p.m.