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Panthers gain share of OVC

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

PROCTORVILLE — The Chesapeake Panthers traveled the long road to the Ohio Valley Conference championship, and they did it by riding on the right Rhoades.

Gage Rhoades hit 12-of-20 attempts and scored 30 points to lead the Panthers to a 73-63 win over the Fairland Dragons on Monday to claim a share of the OVC title.

“We won the sectional on Saturday and had to come right back and play a big game and our kids did a good job of getting re-focused and playing well on the road,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

“One of our goals at the beginning of the year is to win the league and we were able to do that. It’s a tribute to these kids because the league was really tough and balanced.”

Chesapeake and Portsmouth both finished 10-2 in the OVC. The Panthers (21-2) will now play at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Division III district semifinals at Ohio University against Piketon.

Besides Rhoades who also had five rebounds, Brad Meadows had 14 points and nine rebounds, Nate Smith scored 12 points and Jake Stevens added 10 points.

Fairland (14-10, 5-7) was led by senior Chance Short with 27 points. Kollin Van Horn had 14 points and seven rebounds while Isaiah Howell added 10 points.

Senior Nathan Campbell had nine rebounds, four assists and five steals.

“I can’t say enough about our effort and it all goes back to the seniors and their leadership,” said Fairland coach Nathan Speed.

“We lost a tough game in the sectional finals on Saturday and this game really didn’t mean a lot. But we played hard and with a lot of pride. I’m proud of these kids but especially the three seniors who have meant so much to our program. They won a league title and reached the district finals three times. I can’t say enough about them.”

Smith scored 5 points in the first quarter to help the Panthers to a 16-11 lead. Short scored 8 points for the Dragons.

Rhoades got 8 points in the second quarter as Chesapeake extended its lead to 32-22 at the half. Short and Van Horn combined for all 11 Fairland points in the quarter.

Rhoades came back with 10 points in the third quarter as the Panthers opened up a 52-36 lead.

With Short scoring 9 points and Howell 8 more the Dragons cut the deficit to 4 with two minutes to play.

But Rhoades was 4-of-4 from the foul line and Smith scored 7 points as the Panthers began to pull away down the stretch.

Chesapeake 16 16 20 21 = 73

Fairland 11 11 14 27 = 63

CHESAPEAKE (21-2, 10-2): Jake Stevens 2-4 2-5 0-0 10, Austin Carpenter 2-2 0-0 0-0 4, Kolton Webb 0-0 1-3 0-0 3, Nate Smith 4-4 1-3 1-2 12, Gage Rhoades 10-17 2-3 4-5 30, Brad Meadows 6-9 0-0 2-4 14, Aaron Thompson 0-4 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-54 7-11 73. 3-point goals: 6-14. Rebounds: 22 (Meadows 9, Rhoades 5). Assists: 5. Steals: 2. Turnvoer: 15. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.

FAIRLAND (14-10, 5-7): Chance Short 7-13 3-7 4-5 27, Gunner Short 1-1 0-1 0-0 2, Isaiah Howell 3-6 0-2 4-4 10, Nathan Campbell 1-3 0-0 1-1 3, Ty Staten 3-5 0-0 0-0 6, Luke Thomas 0-1 0-1 0-0 0, Tyler Campbell 0-2 0-0 1-2 1, Kollin Van Horn 6-15 0-0 2-4 14. Totals: 24-57 12-16 63. 3-point goals: 3-11. Rebounds: 27 (N. Campbell 9, Van Horn 7). Assists: 13 (N. Campbell 4). Steals: 11 (N. Campbell 5). Turnovers” 11. Blocked shots: 3. Fouls: 10. Fouled out: None.