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Hornets hold off Panthers in OVC matchup, 56-54


Coal Grove Hornets’ guard Malachi Wheeler (2) drives against the defensive pressure of the Chesapeake Panthers’ Ben Bragg during Friday’s OVC game. The Hornets held on for a 56-54 win. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — The Coal Grove Hornets weren’t going to let this one slip away.
After leading by double digits in the third quarter, the Hornets saw their lead dwindle to almost nothing late in the game.
But two clutch free throws by Perry Kingery and one by Malachi Wheeler helped the Hornets hang on for a 56-54 win over the Chesapeake Panthers on Friday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Tait Matney hit a 3-pointer and scored 7 points and Jarren Hicks had 5 points to help the Hornets to a 16-12 lead. Nathan Cox had 5 points and Travis Grim hit a 3-pointer to keep the Panthers close.
A layup by Kingery with 2:36 left in the half pushed the lead to 26-18. Chesapeake rallied by scoring 4 straight points to close the half and cut the deficit to 26-22.
But the Hornets began to take control in the third quarter as they opened up a 40-29 lead with 1:45 on the clock and it was 43-34 at the end of the quarter.
But the Panthers began to rally in the fourth quarter and Caleb Schneider’s running left-handed layup with 1:22 left tied the game at 51.
Kingery was fouled and sank both free throws with 0:49 left to give the Hornets the lead for good at 55-51.
After a miss by the Panthers, the Hornets scored to go up 55-51. Cox hit a 3-pointer to draw within 55-54, but Wheeler was fouled on the inbounds play and hit a free throw with 2.3 seconds left to set the final score.
Kingery had 14 points and Hicks 10 to lead a balanced Hornets’ offense. Matney and Wheeler scored 9 points each for the Hornets (1-2, 1-2).
Schneider scored 14 points, Grim 11 and Levi Blankenship added 10 points for the Panthers (1-2, 1-2).
Currently, on Dec. 29 Coal Grove is to host Green while Chesapeake host Adena on this Wednesday.
Chesapeake 12 10 12 20 = 54
Coal Grove 16 10 17 13 = 56
CHESAPEAKE (1-2, 1-2): Caleb Schneider 3 2 2-2 14, Travis Grim 4 1 0-1 11, Nathan Cox 2 1 1-1 8, Levi Blankenship 3 0 4-4 10, Ben Bragg 1 0 1-2 3, Devon Bellomy 3 0 2-2 8, Jacob Lemley 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 4 10-12 54. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: Blankenship.
COAL GROVE (1-2, 1-2): Malachi Wheeler 3 0 3-4 9, Jarren Hicks 3 0 4-6 10, Trevor Hankins 2 0 0-0 4, Tait Matney 3 1 0-0 9, Hunter Staton 0 2 0-0 6, Elijah Dillon 2 0 0-0 4, Braxton Horn 0 0 0-0 0, Perry Kingery 6 0 2-2 14. Totals: 19 3 9-12 56. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.