Pirates hold off Panthers

Published 2:34 am Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chesapeake Panthers’ Caleb Heffner drives against a Wheelersburg defender during Friday’s Division III district tournament game. The Panthers lost 57-52. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Chesapeake Panthers’ Caleb Heffner drives against a Wheelersburg defender during Friday’s Division III district tournament game. The Panthers lost 57-52. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker



ATHENS — There was one key facet the Chesapeake Panthers wanted to do. There was one key facet they didn’t want to do.

The Panthers didn’t get what they wanted.

The Panthers failed to slow down Wheelersburg’s scoring and they also failed to dominated the glass as the Pirates held on for a 57-52 win Friday in the Division III district semifinals at Ohio University.

Wheelersburg connected on 20-of-37 field goal attempts for 54 percent. The Panthers lost the battle of the board 26-20 and had just five offensive rebounds in the first half as the Pirates were 10-of-18 from the field.

“Things didn’t go our way. We haven’t been real offensively adept all year. Our biggest concern was to keep them from scoring and they did a great job of getting decent looks,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

“We didn’t rebound the ball real well. (Rebounding) is something we have to take advantage of. We didn’t do a very good job.”

Dylan Miller scored 20 points, J.D. Widdig 16 and Jacob Spradlin 11 to lead the Pirates who play Fairland at 2 p.m. Sunday in the district finals.

Caleb Heffner scored 13 points and had five rebounds for Chesapeake. Gage Rhoades added nine points.

The Pirates went on a 7-0 run to start the game. The Panthers got within 8-7 on a lay by Heffner at the 1:46 mark, but Spradlin hit 3-pointer and Widdig made a layup at the buzzer and Wheelersburg led 13-7.

A layup by Austin Carpenter got the Panthers within 17-14, but Miller drilled a triple and Tyler Claxon had a layup for a 22-14 lead.

Austin Saunders hit a short jumper for the Panthers. Miller then made a layup and the Pirates led 24-16 at the half.

Wheelersburg opened up a 10-point lead on two occasions early in the third quarter. Chesapeake then scored seven unanswered points to trail 28-25.

A trey by Widdig with two seconds on the clock helped extend the lead to 35-27.

Heffner and Meadows had 3-point plays to start the fourth quarter as the Panthers cut the deficit to 35-33 with6:38 to play.

But Miller and Widdig hit back-to-back 3-pointers and a layup by Widdig made it 43-33 at the 5:14 mark.

“I was real proud of our effort in the second half to get it back real close. We got it within two. We just made some critical mistakes at times we couldn’t make and we let them build the lead back up,” said Davis.

The Panthers were forced to foul and the Pirates managed to convert 10-of-15 at the line. Kolton Webb hit two 3-pointers and Blake Lester another trey off the bench as the Panthers got within 56-50 with 22 seconds left.

Austin Stevenson made a foul shot and the Pirates were up 57-50 with 18 seconds left. Rhoades was able to drive for a layup with 10 seconds to go and it was 57-52, but the Panthers could get no closer.

The Panthers finished the season 15-9.

“We’ve had a really good group of kids. There’s nothing to be embarrassed when you take them anywhere. They conduct themselves well,” said Davis.

Wheelersburg 13 11 11 22 = 57

Chesapeake 7 9 11 25 = 52

WHEELERSBURG (15-7): Tyler Claxon 2 0 1-2 5, J.D. Widdig 3 2 4-4 16, Camron Parsley 0 0 0-0 0, Jacob Spradlin 2 1 4-5 11, Dylan Miller 6 2 2-4 20, Austin May 2 0 0-0 4, Garrett Carmichael 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Stevenson 0 0 1-2 1, Brandan Adams 0 0 0-2 0. Totals: 20-37 12-19 57. 3-point goals: 5-9. Rebounds: 5-O, 21-D = 26 (Miller 8, Spradlin 4) Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 11 (Spradlin 3, Parsely 2, Widdig 2). Steals: 1 (Parsley). Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.

CHESAPEAKE (15-9): Nate Smith 1 1 1-2 6, Gage Rhoades 3 1 0-3 9, Brad Meadows 2 0 3-3 7, Caleb Heffner 6 0 1-1 13, Andrew Saunders 3 0 0-2 6, Austin Carpenter 1 0 0-0 2, Blake Lester 0 1 0-0 3, Kolton Webb 0 2 0-0 6, Aaron Thompson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-46 5-11 52. 3-point goals: 5-14. Rebounds: 7-O, 13-D = 20 (Heffner 5, Saudners 4, Meadows 4). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 12 (Heffner 3, Rhoades 3, Smith 3, Meadows 2). Steals: 8 (Smith 4, Saunders 2). Turnovers: 8. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.