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Panthers claim district crown

ATHENS — There’s something about the Convo that brings out the best in the Chesapeake Panthers.
The hot-shooting Panthers played a well-rounded game as they routed the Lucasville Valley Indians 66-52 in the Division III district finals Saturday night at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.

The Panthers enjoyed one of their best shooting performances of the season as they connected on 27-of-44 shots for 61.4 percent.

Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis said the Panthers not only shot well but played well in all other aspects of the game.

“It was really a good performance. We’re not talking about playing a mediocre team. We’re talking about playing a team that has excellent athletes and that have had success everywhere for the four years they’ve been in high school,” said Davis.

“It was a hard not to be really pleased with.”

Chesapeake’s Gage Rhoades poured in 25 points to lead all scorers to go with seven assists. Rhoades was 10-of-15 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc.

Jake Stevens was 6-for-6 from the field — he made all three 3-pointers — as he scored 16 points. Wes Stephens grabbed seven rebounds.

“It’s hard to know when a matchup is going to be in your favor,” said Davis. “We played them at North Adams and we were up 17, 19 at a point in the fourth quarter and they cut it to one. It was a good performance.”

Leading 5-4, Chesapeake went on a 13-4 run to end the quarter and it was 18-8.
A 3-pointer by Stevens and a layup by Austin Hutchison extended the lead to 25-10 with 5:32 to go in the half.

Valley (20-4) pulled to within 29-18, but a layup by Kolton Webb and a free throw by Rhoades helped open up a 32-20 halftime cushion.

Lucasville made one more run as Blake Howard’s 3-pointer cut the spread to 39-30 midway through the third quarter.

Chesapeake (19-6) then went on an 11-2 run keyed by Rhoades who had nine of the points and the Panthers led 50-35 at the end of the quarter.

A layup by Webb to start the fourth quarter gave the Panthers their biggest lead at 52-32 and they were never challenged the rest of the game.
Chesapeake will play Lynchburg Clay at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday at Ohio University.

Chesapeake 18 14 18 16 = 66
Lucasville 8 12 15 17 = 52

CHESAPEAKE (19-6): Jake Stevens 3 3 1-1 16, Kolton Webb 4 0 0-0 8, Gage Rhoades 7 3 2-4 25, Brad Meadows 1 0 3-5 5, Wesley Stephens 4 0 0-0 8, Austin Hutchison 1 0 0-0 2, Casey McComas 0 0 0-0 0, Cole Mills 0 0 0-0 0, Kelton Jones 0 0 0-0 0, David Dotson 0 0 0-0 0, Ty Wilcoxon 0 0 0-0 0, Tanner Harr 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Browning 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 27-44 6-11 66. 3-point goals: 6-11. Rebounds: 4-O, 21-D = 25 (Stephens 7, Meadows 5, Rhoades 5). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 15 (Rhoades 7, Webb 3, Stevens 3). Steals: 8 (Webb 2, Rhoades 2, Meadows 2). Blocks: 4 (Meadows 2, Stephens 2). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.

LUCASVILLE VALLEY (20-3): Bryce Romanello 3 0 1-2 7, Bryan Rolfe 8 1 2-3 21, Blake Howard 5 2 0-1 16, Aaron Linne 1 1 1-2 6, Blake Brewer 0 0 0-0 0, Christian Breech 0 0 0-0 0, Kenny Williams 0 0 0-0 0, Andrew Shope 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Elswick 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Mayo 0 0 0-0 0, Nathan Riehl 0 0 0-2 0, Drew Wolford 1 0 0-0 2, Austin Shaffer 0 0 0- 00, Tucker Williams 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-48 4-10 52. 3-point goals: 4-16. Rebounds: 8-O, 17-D = 25 (Romanello 6, Howard 4). Teams rebounds: 1. Assists: 9 (Rolfe 5). Steals: 7 (Rolfe 4). Blocks: 1 (Rolfe). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.