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Noble Cause: Senior scores 29 as Panthers roll to sectional title, 95-45

Chesapeake’s Brandon Noble drives inside to score two of his career-high 29 points in a 95-45 win over South Point on Friday. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

JACKSON — The Chesapeake Panthers have a little Fred Sanford in them. Throw a little junk at them and watch them turn it into a gold mine.

Facing junk defenses for the first time this season, the Panthers turned in their best shooting performance of the season with a 95-45 rout of the South Point Pointers on Friday to win the Division III sectional title.

Led by Brandon Noble with a career-high 29 points, the Panthers shot 55.4 percent from the field, hit 12 of 21 from behind the arc and converted 11 of 12 free throw attempts for the game.

Oddly, the Panthers only led 4-3 midway through the first quarter before they started knocking down shots. It was 20-8 at the end of the quarter as the Panthers made 4 of 8 shots from 3-point range.

“They played junk defenses. That’s the first time we’ve seen junk defenses. We had people open, it just took awhile to get going,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

Chesapeake (20-1) led 28-13 in the second quarter after 3-pointers by Eric Kennedy and Javon Thompson. Noble then got sizzling hot as he scored the Panthers’ next 15 points including a pair of triples. His putback with 57 seconds left made it 43-22.

“They were leaving the block open and we went there a couple of times, but there were a lot of perimeter shots in the first half. They were trying to keep us from getting in our transition game but we started knocking down shots,” said Davis.

Brandon Barnes hit a trifecta for the Pointers — his fourth in the quarter — to make it 43-25 but Kennedy’s two foul shots built a 45-25 halftime cushion.

“We played pretty well the first quarter, but every guy on their team was shooting the ball well. That’s what makes them so dangerous,” said Pointers’ coach Chris Barnes.

“But I’m proud of my guys for the season they have had. We won 11 games and finished third in the league when we were picked next to last. They gave a great effort all year.”

A trey by Barnes and a layup by Austin Jeffreys got the Pointers within 47-30 to begin the second half. That was as close as the Pointers would get.

Chesapeake connected on 14 of 18 shots in the third quarter with Patrick Hintz and Noble scoring 9 points each in the stanza.

Austin McMaster got the hot hand in the fourth quarter as he scored 14 points and the defense held South Point to 3 of 15 shooting and 9 points.

The Pointers (11-11) were just 15 of 64 from the floor for 23.4 percent. They were 7 of 29 from 3-point range.

Joining Noble in double figures were McMaster with 23, Kennedy with 17 and Javon Thompson had 13. Kennedy also had 9 rebounds, McMaster 8 and Noble and Chad Meadows 7 each.

Barnes scored 25 points including six 3-pointers to lead South Point. Josh Payne added 8 points and 7 rebounds while Tre Campbell had 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

The sectional title was the Panthers’ 26th overall. They play Huntington Ross at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the district semifinals at Ohio University. Ross beat North Adams 67-40.

South Point 8 17 11 9 = 45

Chesapeake 20 25 33 17 = 95

SOUTH POINT (11-11): Austin Jeffreys 1 0 2-2 4, Tre Campbell 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Majher 0 0 0-0 0, Josh Payne 3 0 2-2 8, Brandon Barnes 2 6 3-4 25, Kurt Adams 0 1 0-0 3, Brandon Boggs 1 0 0-0 2, John Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Evan Williams 1 0 0-0 2, Alex Whitt 0 0 0-0 0, Audric Harlow 0 0 1-2 1, Brady Rickard 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-64 8-10 45. 3-point goals: 7-29. Rebounds: 20-16=36 (Payne 7, Campbell 6, Boggs 6). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 4. Steals: 6 (Johnson 2). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: Jeffreys (3rd 3:44).

CHESAPEAKE (20-1): Patrick Hintz 3 1 0-0 9, Eric Kennedy 3 2 5-6 17, Brandon Noble 6 4 5-5 29, Javon Thompson 2 3 0-0 13, Austin McMaster 8 2 1-1 23, Chad Meadows 1 0 0-0 2, Taylor Banaei 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb Lindsey 0 0 0-0 0, Mikey Walters 0 0 0-0 0, Shane Stevens 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 36-65 11-12 95. 3-point goals: 12-21. Rebounds: 14-29=43 (Kennedy 9, McMaster 8, Noble 7, Meadows 7). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 7 (Noble 2, Kennedy 2). Steals: 12 (Hintz 4, Noble 3). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None.