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Smith’s last-second shot gives Lady Panthers win

Chesapeake Lady Panthers’ Amanda Ruffner (14) goes between two River Valley defenders to score. Chesapeake won 41-39. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

JACKSON — Senior Amanda Ruffner carried the mail for the Chesapeake Lady Panthers, but Maggie Smith put a stamp on it.

Ruffner scored 26 points to keep Chesapeake in the game and Smith hit the game-winning shot with two seconds left as the Lady Panthers avoided an upset by beating the River Valley Lady Raiders 41-39 on Monday in the first round of the Division III sectional tournament.

“Ruffner carried us on offense. She’s made a habit of that all year,” said Chesapeake coach Chris Ball. “Maggie hit a big shot. It was good to see a girl like her who has put in a lot of work to hit a shot like that.”

Chesapeake (15-6) wlll play Wellston at 2:45 p.m. Saturday in the sectional finals. Wellston beat Southeastern 45-30.

Ruffner also had 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocked shots. Sarah Rice got 4 steals and Jordan Porter added 9 points and 7 rebounds.

Cady Gilmore scored 16 and Alli Neville 11 for River Valley (6-15).

River Valley took a 13-10 first quarter lead as Gilmore scored 7 points. Runnfer had 6 for the Lady Panthers.

Gilmore scored 7 more in the second quarter and the Lady Raiders were up 27-17 at the half.

“River Valley played well. The first half they were the aggressor,” said Ball. “We talked at halftime and we knew the season was on the line and we played with more intensity in the second half.”

Chesapeake outscored River Valley 15-4 in the third quarter with Ruffner getting 13 of those points as the Lady Panthers took a 32-31 lead.

The game went back-and-forth in the fourth quarter until the Lady Panthers called a timeout with seven seconds left to set up the final play. Smith took the inbounds pass on the baseline and hit the 6-foot winning shot.

“When you run a play like that like you’re supposed to, you can get an open look like we did,” said Ball.

River Valley 13 14 4 8 = 39

Chesapeake 10 7 15 9 = 41

RIVER VALLEY (6-15): Chelsea Copley 0 0 0-0 0, Shalin Comer 2 0 0-0 4, Beth Misner 0 0 0-0 0, Alli Neville 4 1 0-0 11, Cady Gilmore 5 1 3-3 16, Mercedes Combs 0 0 0-0 0, Tracy Roberts 4 0 0-0 8, Kaci Bryant 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 2 3-3 39. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.

CHESAPEAKE (15-6): Casey Underwood 0 0 0-0 0, Amanda Ruffner 11 0 4-6 26, Jackie Nelson 1 0 0-0 2, Sarah Rice 0 0 0-1 0, Sydnee Hall 1 0 0-0 2, Maggie Smith 1 0 0-0 2, Jordan Porter 2 0 5-7 9. Totals: 16 0 9-14 41. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.