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Cold shooting costly to Panthers

Chesapeake Panthers’ Austin McMaster (right) scores inside as he goes above the defense of Portsmouth’s Duke Edwards. Chesapeake lost 53-45. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

ATHENS — Someone cut Sampson’s hair.

Strong shooting and balanced scoring has been the strength of the Chesapeake Panthers all season. It’s a key reason the Panthers were 22-1 and ranked fourth in the Associated Press poll.

But those strengths were cut away on Wednesday when the Panthers shot a season-worse 21 of 58 from the field including 2 of 19 from 3-point range in a 53-45 loss to the Portsmouth Trojans in the Division III regional semifinals at Ohio University.

“It was a different match-up, but we played unsure of ourselves all night. We didn’t have faith in ourselves,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

“We talked to them early about getting good ball movement and setting screens and moving without the ball. We seemed stagnant. We seemed like we hadn’t been there before.”

Portsmouth coach Eugene Collins praised his team’s defensive effort and collective play for slowing down the Chesapeake offense.

“We wanted to keep them from getting (scoring) runs. We tried to keep players fresh and wear them down,” said Collins.

Trojans’ center Dion McKinley didn’t have any shooting troubles. McKinley was 14 of 21 from the field and scored 30 points — 18 in the second half.

“Early on we did what we wanted. We did okay keeping the ball from getting in (the post), but in the second half we missed a pass and continued to miss passes and continued to miss help-side assignments,” said Davis.

Besides shooting, rebounding was a key factor. The Trojans dominated the glass 42-23 with McKinley getting 12 rebounds — seven on the offensive glass.

“We said let’s get five box-outs every time and it didn’t happen,” said Davis.

Chesapeake was led by Austin McMaster with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Eric Kennedy had 13 points and Patrick Hintz 10 points.

Wayne Evans added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Trojans.

The lead changed hands six times and was tied 21-21 when McKinley and Zaide Whitley had layup for a 25-21 lead. McMaster’s layup got the Panthers within 25-23 at the half.

A steal and 12-footer by McKinley opened up a 37-27 lead midway through the third quarter. A layup by McKinley put the lead at 41-35 just before the end of the quarter as the Panthers hit only 6 of 15 shots in the quarter.

A short jumper by McMaster got the Panthers within 41-37 to start the fourth quarter.

The Trojans took a 47-37 lead with 4:24 left and used a four-corner offense to run time off the clock. Chesapeake managed to close the gap to 49-43 with 23 seconds left on a layup by Hintz, but Evans and Len Collins each sank two foul shots to seal the outcome.

Portsmouth (22-2) will play in the regional finals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Ironton. Portsmouth beat Chesapeake 69-68 in the regional finals last year to reach the state tournament.

Portsmouth 13 12 16 12 = 53

Chesapeake 9 14 12 10 = 45

PORTSMOUTH (22-2): Zaide Whitely 1 0 0-0 2, Jayllen Carter 2 0 3-3 7, Len Collins 0 0 2-2 2, Wayne Evans 3 0 4-4 10, Dion McKinley 14 0 2-4 30, Duke Edwards 1 0 0-0 2, Mason Jordan 0 0 0-0 0, Seth Bratchett 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-48 11-13 53. 3-point goals: 0-8. Rebounds: 13-29=42 (McKinley 12, Evans 7, Carter 7). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 8 (Evans 5). Steals: 7 (Collins 3, McKinley 2). Turnovers: 23. Blocked shots: 1 (Carter). Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.

CHESAPEAKE (22-2): Patrick Hintz 5 0 0-0 10, Eric Kennedy 3 2 1-1 13, Brandon Noble 3 0 0-2 6, Javon Thompson 1 0 0-0 2, Austin McMaster 7 0 0-0 14, Chad Meadows 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-58 1-3 45. 3-point goals: 2-19. Rebounds: 9-13=22 (McMaster 10). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Hintz 3, Thompson 2). Steals: 11 (Thompson 4, Noble 3, Kennedy 3). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.