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Adena ends Panthers tourney run in D3 district finals, 53-40

Chesapeake Panthers’ Tylan Hutchison (32) takes a jump shot while Adena Warriors’ Logan Bennett tries to draw a charging call during Saturday’s Division III district championship game. Adena didn’t get the call but the Warriors did win 53-40. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

ATHENS, OH — The Chesapeake Panthers continued their ride through the postseason tournament right into the fourth quarter on Saturday.
But two crucial turnovers and missed free throws caused the wheels to come off this surprising ride and it proved too much to overcome as the Panthers lost to the Adena Warriors 53-40 in the Division III district championship game at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.
The Panthers fell behind by eight points early in the game but regrouped and stayed on the heels of the Warriors until midway in the fourth quarter.
“We got it back to even and ahead in the bonus situation. We had them at seven fouls. If I’m not mistaken, we didn’t get the ball to Eli Archer one time in the second half. We were seven for a bunch (from the foul line),” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.
A 3-pointer and two layups by Caleb Foglesong helped stake Adena to a 10-2 lead late in the first quarter.
But Levi Blankenship’s steal and layup, a layup by Eli Archer and a steal and layup by Trent Dearth with four seconds on the clock got the Panthers within 12-8.
Two foul shots by Austin Jackson tied the game at 18 with 2:52 left in the half only to have Jacob Shipley come off the bench to his a 3-pointer and Adena led 21-18.
Logan Bennett made two layups as the Warriors took a 25-20 halftime lead.
“The first half I think they scored 16 of their points around the basket out of 25. Not many adjustments you can make out there with us. We tried to hide what we were,” said Davis whose team does not have any seniors.
“We had opportunities to throw the ball into the post, but we’d take a bad angle or make a goofy pass, miss it when it was open.”
Blankenship hit one-of-two free throws to get Chesapeake within 27-25 at the 5:40 mark of the third quarter only to have Fout hit a 3-pointer and Bennett to score inside. A foul shot by Sykes and the lead was 33-26.
But a putback by Archer and a 3-poiner by Blankenship sliced the Adena lead to 35-33 to end the quarter.
Tylan Hutchison made a layup to start the fourth quarter and Chesapeake tied the game at 35.
Two crucial turnovers led to a layup by Fout and two free throws by Bennett and Sykes to open up a 41-35 lead with 5:32 left.
Blankenship scored but Sykes got three points and Fout a putback and the lead was 46-37 with 2:46 to play.
Adena converted 5-of-8 free throws over the final 50 seconds to pull away from the Panthers.
The Panthers were only 1-of-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and 7-of-17 for the game.
“It hasn’t been good for us all year when we turn it over more than the other team. We usually haven’t. We usually cause more than that,” said Davis.
“We caused a few turnovers in spurts. We’re getting what we want, but when you don’t make any free throws, then we come up with a lot of empty possessions over and over.”
Blankenship had 11 points and three steals while Archer had 10 points and five rebounds for the Panthers. Hutchison grabbed eight rebounds.
Adena (19-6) was led by Bennett with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Fout had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Foglesong added nine points.
Davis praised his team for its 15-11 season and district runner-up, especially since he noted “most of these guys should have been playing jayvee ball.”
But the experience of the regular season and tournament should help toward next year.
“I could have told you the record before the season unless we pulled off some miracles. Then you get to tournament time, who knows. The win over Eastern Pike was a big one and the win over West Union was a bigger win than the district game,” said Davis.
“I think we probably overall overachieved which is something. The last couple of years we could have said we overachieved but we still lost. At least overachieving (this season) resulted in some wins. There’s a lot of positives coming back for next year.”
Davis then cautioned his players not to take this season’s experience as a guarantee toward next season.
“I hope they know what they’re gunning for now. It’s been a few years since we’ve been here (in the district). I tried to stress how unique an experience this is and you can’t count on getting it again,” said Davis.
Chesapeake 8 12 13 7 = 40
Adena 12 13 10 18 = 53
CHESAPEAKE (15-11): Levi Blankenship 4-7 2-4 11, Austin Jackson 2-5 2-4 6, Trent Dearth 3-5 0-0 6, Tylan Hutchison 3-4 1-6 7, Eli Archer 4-7 2-3 10, Travis Grim 0-3 0-0 0, Nathan Cox 0-4 0-0 0, Josh Cox 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 16-37 7-17 40. 3-pt goals: 1-11 (Blankenship 1-2, Jackson 0-1, Dearth 0-1, Hutchison 0-1, Grim 0-2, N. Cox 0-3, J. Cox 0-1). Rebounds: 5-O, 15-D = 20 (Hutchison 8, Archer 5). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 5 (Jackson 2). Steals: 10 (Blankenship 3, Dearth 3, Grim 2). Turnovers: 17. Blocks: 3 (Hutchison 2, Archer 1). Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Jackson (4th 0:42), Blankenship (4th 0:19), Hutchison (4th 1:49).
ADENA (19-6): Nate Throckmorton 1-1 0-0 2, Zach Fout 6-12 0-0 14, Logan Bennett 5-12 7-9 17, Preston Sykes 1-6 6-10 8, Caleb Foglesong 4-7 1-2 9, Jacob Shipley 1-3 0-0 3, Jarrett Garrison 0-1 0-0 0, Ethan Kunkel 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Gallaucher 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Rawlings 0-0 0-0 0, Dyland McDonald 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-42 14-21 53. 3-pt goals: 3-12 (Fout 2-4, Shipley 1-3, Bennett 0-1, Sykes 0-4). Rebounds: 12-O, 25-D = 37 (Bennett 13, Fout 10). Team rebounds: 5. Assists: 11 (Sykes 3, Fout 3). Steals: 8 (Fout 4, Sykes 2). Turnovers: 15. Blocks: 3. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.