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Chesapeake wins showdown, 69-66

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Aaron Stephens (45) lays in a hook shot as Chesapeake Panthers’ Chad Meadows defends. The Panthers held off Ironton 69-66. (The Ironton Tribune / Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

It was just what was expected.

Before a near-capacity crowd, the Chesapeake Panthers held on to edge the Ironton Fighting Tigers 69-66 in a battle of Southeastern Ohio basketball powers.

Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis said his team showed the effects of a 13-day layoff but used some good long-range shooting to get the win.

The Panthers (6-1) hit 9 of 22 shots from behind the arc while shooting 44 percent from the floor and converting 12 of 15 free throws.

“Ironton’s not only one of the best teams in Southeastern Ohio, but one of the best in the state. We didn’t do things perfect, but in the end we did enough to pick up the win,” said Davis.

“Our character showed. It takes games like this to get us where we want to be at the end of the season.”

Ironton (7-1) had six more field goals but was just 1-of-4 from the 3-point line and the Fighting Tigers were guilty of 16 turnovers to only five for the Panthers.

Ironton also dominated the boards 52-24. In fact, Ironton had 25 offensive rebounds but couldn’t convert them into points.

“We didn’t take care of the ball. We couldn’t’ finish inside. It was frustrating. It wasn’t like we tried to shoot a bunch of jump shots. If we make 30 percent of those (inside shots) w win,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

The Panthers had all five starters in double figures led by Eric Kennedy with 18 points. Javon Thompson had 15 points, Austin McMaster 14, Patrick Hintz 12 and Brandon Noble 10.

“My hat’s off to them. We got outplayed. The beat us in all aspects of the game,” said LaFon.

Ironton’s Trey Fletcher led all scorers with 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Zac Carter had 12 points despite not playing most of the second half. Trevor White had 12 points and Dion Brown pulled down 10 rebounds.

“We tried to take away Fletcher as much as we can. We tried to take away Carter as much as we can. They got some other kids who stepped up,” said Davis.

A layup by Hintz gave the Panthers their biggest lead of the first half at 12-5 before Ironton got within 12-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Ironton took a 17-13 lead on a putback by Nolan Johnson and Fletcher’s dunk. A 3-pointer by Thompson gave the Panthers the lead for good at 32-29 with 1:06 left in the first half.

Chesapeake hit three more triples in the third quarter while Ironton was only 6 of 20 from the field and the lead was 53-45.

“We finally shot some 3’s. Our guys can shoot it if they take good shots,” said Davis.

A trifecta by Fletcher cut the deficit to 65-62 with 20 seconds left and his two foul shots 10 seconds later got Ironton within 65-64.

But Thompson hit four foul shots over the next six seconds sandwiched around an Ironton turnover to seal the win.

Chesapeake 12 22 19 16 = 69

Ironton 11 22 12 21 = 66

CHESAPEAKE (6-1): Patrick Hintz 3 2 0-0 12, Eric Kennedy 3 3 3-4 18, Brandon Noble 4 0 2-2 10, Javon Thompson 3 1 6-7 15, Austin McMaster 2 3 1-2 14, Chad Meadows 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-55 12-15 69. 3-point goals: 9-22. Rebounds: 7-17=24 (McMaster 7, Noble 7, Hintz 5). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 7 (Hintz 4). Steals: 8 (Noble 3, Hintz 2). Turnovers: 5. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.

IRONTON (7-1): Zac Carter 5 0 2-3 12, Trey Fletcher 11 1 3-5 28, Dion Brown 3 0 0-0 6, Nolan Johnson 1 0 0-0 2, Josh Glover 2 0 0-0 4, Aaron Stephens 1 0 0-0 2, Tanner Dutey 0 0 0-0 0, Darius Boykin 0 0 0-0 0, Trevor White 6 0 0-1 12. Totals: 30-69 5-10 66. 3-point goals: 1-4. Rebounds: 25-27=52 (Fletcher 12, Brown 10, Glover 6, Stephens 5, White 5). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 10 (Carter 4). Steals: 2. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Glover (4th 0:14).