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Panthers rally to beat Minford for sectional title

Chesapeake Panthers’ Levi Blankenship (4) goes in for a layup as Minford Falcons’ Trenton Zimmerman (1) grabs the jersey to try and stop his advancement. Chesapeake won 59-49 to claim the Division 3 sectional championship on Saturday at Jackson. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

JACKSON — You can’t rest against the Chesapeake Panthers.
Trailing most of the first half and into the second half, Chesapeake outscored Minford 38-14 over the final 14 minutes of the game as the Panthers beat the Falcons 59-49 in the Division 3 sectional finals on Saturday.
“We started too tight to play once again,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.
“Thank goodness Caldwell showed up. Our sophomores are pretty decent.”
Missing starters Nathan Cox and Austin Jackson, the panthers have been limited to basically six players.
But three of those players are sophomores and all three came up big.
Dilen Caldwell led all scorers with 22 points including three 3-pointers and 7-of-7 from the foul line. Levi Blankenship scored 15 points and Ethan Taylor added 10.
Chesapeake (19-3) took a 10-5 first quarter lead as Caldwell and Taylor each hit 3-pointers.
But Elijah Voglesong-Lewis knocked down four 3-pointers while Hunter Davis, Trent Zimmerman, Skylar Knore and Nathan McCormick all had a trey and the Falcons exploded for 24 points to take a 29-20 lead at the half.
Caldwell had 6 points including a 3-pointer and Blankenship 4 points in the quarter to keep the Panthers close.
Overall, Minford hit nine 3-pointers in the first half.
But Chesapeake came out firing in the second half and outscored the Falcons 17-8 to tie the game at 37 at the end of the third quarter.
Caldwell had a 3-pointer and scored 7 points with Blankenship scoring 5 points to lead the Chesapeake comeback.
Zimmerman scored all 8 of Minford’s points in the quarter.
The teams continued trading baskets in the fourth quarter and it was 42-all with four minutes to play.
But Caldwell had a 3-point play and went 4-for-4 at the foul line in the quarter. Taylor had another trifecta and was 2-of-4 at the line, and Trent Dearth added a foul shot as the Panthers made 7-of-10 free throws in the quarter.
Voglesong-Lewis had 16 points and Zimmerman 11 for Minford (14-9).
UP NEXT: Chesapeake plays Wheelersburg at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, at Ohio University in the district semifinals.
Minford 5 24 8 12 = 49
Chesapeake 10 10 17 22 = 59
MINFORD (14-9): Hunter Davis 1 1 0-0 5, Trenton Zimmerman 4 1 0-0 11, Elijah Voglesong-Lewis 1 4 2-2 16, Skylar Knore 0 3 0-0 9, Nathan McCormick 1 2 0-0 8, Drew Skaggs 0 0 0-0 0, Matthew Risner 0 0 0-0 0, Adam Crank 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 7 11 2-2 49. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.
CHESAPEAKE (19-3): Travis Grim 1 0 0-0 2, Levi Blankenship 7 0 1-2 15, Dilen Caldwell 3 3 7-7 22, Austin Jackson 1 0 0-0 2, Trent Dearth 2 0 2-4 6, Josh Cox 1 0 0-0 2, Ethan Taylor 1 2 2-4 10. Totals: 11 5 12-17 59. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.