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Hornets hang on to beat Panthers, 78-70

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

CHESAPEAKE — The Coal Grove Hornets survived a second half comeback attempt by the Chesapeake Panthers on Tuesday night in an Ohio Valley Conference makeup game.
The Panthers outscored the Hornets 43-31 in the second half, but could not overcome the first half deficit in a 78-70 win for Coal Grove.
The Hornets (9-9, 6-7) featured three players in double digits including Hunter Staton with a team high 19 points as a starter for the injured Malachi Wheeler. Perry Kingery added 18 points and Tait Matney totaled 15 points.
Trevor Hankins sparked the match for Coal Grove with his three triples in the first quarter as they took a commanding 25-12 lead through just the first quarter of play. Matney drilled a pair of triples as well on his way to a fast start with 7 points.
Chesapeake (8-12, 4-10) struggled for most of the first half, but Levi Blankenship started watering the flame in the second quarter with 8 points that included a 3-pointer.
Staton matched Hankins first quarter performance with three 3-pointers of his own to take a big lead at the break, 47-27.
Blankenship went on a terror in the second half as he poured in 19 of his 29 points to nearly bring the Panthers back from down 20. Caleb Schneider added 8 of his 10 points in the second half as well, but too little too late.
Chesapeake cut the lead to just 13 points at the end of the third, but couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch to come out on top.
Coal Grove will travel to play at South Point against the Pointers in the sectional championship on Friday. The Panthers will play on the road in the sectional championship against Piketon on Saturday.
Coal Grove 25 22 12 19 = 78
Chesapeake 12 15 19 24 = 70
COAL GROVE (9-9, 6-7): Jarren Hicks 4 0 1-2 9, Trevor Hankins 0 3 0-0 9, Tait Matney 4 2 1-2 15, Hunter Staton 3 4 1-2 19, Elijah Dillon 2 0 0-1 4, Braxton Horn 2 0 0-0 4, Perry Kingery 8 0 2-3 18. Totals: 23 9 5-10 78. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: none.
CHESAPEAKE (8-12, 4-10): Caleb Schneider 5 0 0-1 10, Nathan Cox 3 0 1-2 7, Levi Blankenship 10 2 3-3 29, Dannie Maynard 2 1 2-2 9, JD Daniels 0 1 0-0 3, Ben Bragg 3 0 2-4 8, Jacob Lemley 1 0 0-0 2, Travis Grim 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 25 4 8-12 70. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: none.