Panthers rout ‘Beasts’ fill-in HSJ

January 13, 2019

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — Chesapeake was thankful for Huntington St. Joe Saturday, but not enough to keep from beating the Irish.

Huntington St. Joe was a last-minute replacement in the Beasts of the Southeast boys high school basketball showcase at Chesapeake. The Irish (1-10) replaced North Adams, which along with Alexander, Eastern-Brown, Trimble and Waverly, canceled because of an impending snowstorm in south-central Ohio. The Panthers (8-4) defeated St. Joe 58-39.

“Not much,” Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis said of what he liked about his team’s victory. “We’re in a weird spot right now.”

Davis explained that his team is not playing well together, nor the way it needs to play to be successful. Chesapeake was good enough to win Saturday, as 6-foot-4 junior Eli Archer scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Levi Blankenship scored 11 points and Trent Dearth 10.

Huntington St. Joe led once, 13-12, after Bronson Barker scored off a sharp pass from Mekhi Barlow to open the second quarter. Tylan Hutchison, though, responded with a basket to give the Panthers a 14-13 lead and they steadily pulled away from there.

Chesapeake led 25-16 at halftime. The Irish moved within 31-25 after a 3-pointer by Gunnell Hickman with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter, but Blankenship’s 3-pointer started a 12-0 run that left the Panthers in control.

Chesapeake led by as many as 20 points after Travis Grim’s steal and layup with 4:50 left in the game. The Irish struggled with turnovers, committing 17 to Chesapeake’s 10.

Corey Sweeney paced Huntington St. Joe with 14 points.

The Panthers return to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Fairland. The Irish also play again at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, entertaining Wayne.

HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 11 5 13 10 — 39: Adkins 5, Faucette 2, Hickman 3, Barker 6, Sweeney 14, Bolton 9.

CHESAPEAKE 12 13 18 15 — 58: Grim 2, Blankenship 11, Schmidt 3, Dearth 10, Hutchison 3, Archer 23.

FAIRLAND 45, JACKSON 41: Clayton Thomas sank two free throws with 7.8 seconds left to clinch the Dragons’ triumph over the Ironmen (10-3).

Matt Mondlak scored 19 points to lead Fairland (8-4), which overcame an early deficit by outscoring Jackson 9-2 in the second quarter for a 17-15 halftime lead. The Dragons pushed the margin to 11 points after Ian Chinn’s 3-point play at 4:31 of the third quarter. Jackson chipped away, but couldn’t get its running game going against the deliberate Dragons.

Jackson pulled within 43-41 on a basket by Caleb Wallis with 9 seconds left, but didn’t score again.

“We did what we do,” Mondlak said. “We wanted to control the tempo and take good shots. Jackson’s a good team. They’re big and physical.”

Controlling the pace was vital for Fairland, which was at a size disadvantage against the No. 16 team in Division II, and it did, holding the Ironmen 19 points below their season average.

“I’m proud of our effort,” Dragons coach Nathan Speed said. “We tried to control the tempo and did a good job taking care of the ball. Jackson gets up and down the court and our kids were mentally tough, especially defensively. It was a really good effort.”

Wallis led Jackson with 15 points. Trylan Davis scored 14 and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Both teams return to the court at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Fairland at Chesapeake, Jackson at Wheelersburg.

FAIRLAND 8 9 14 14 — 45: Polcyn 4, Porter 5, Mondlak 19, Chinn 8, Thomas 9.

JACKSON 13 2 9 17 — 41: Davis 14, Wallis 15, Yates 8, Co. Donaldson 8, Ca. Donaldson 2, Hammond 2.

MINFORD 56, COAL GROVE 53: The Falcons (3-9) rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to edge the Hornets (8-4).

“Coal Grove beat us by (18) earlier this season, so we’ll take it,” Minford coach Josh Shoemaker said of a 61-43 loss to the Hornets on Dec. 8.

Cameron Dalton, a 6-4 senior, was the key for the Falcons. Dalton scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, 10 in the fourth quarter. He also snared 10 rebounds, eight in the second half.

The Hornets led by as many as 15 points in the second half and 47-34 after an Aaron Music basket with 7:01 left in the game, but Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis made a 3-pointer to start Minford on a 9-0 run and rally the Falcons back in the game. Vogelsong-Lewis hit another 3-point shot with 56 seconds left to give his team a 52-51 lead, but nine seconds later Nate Harmon scored for put Coal Grove ahead 53-52.

Nathan McCormick gave the Falcons back the lead with a basket from the lane to make it 54-53 with 20 seconds to play. Dalton set the score by sinking two free throws with 6 seconds remaining.

The Hornets had a chance to tie, but Music’s 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer.

Kelton Kelly scored 16 for the Falcons. Music paced Coal Grove with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Cory Borders scored 11.

Coal Grove plays against at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ironton in a key Ohio Valley Conference contest. Minford plays at Northwest at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

MINFORD 13 8 11 24 — 56: Kelley 16, Vogelsong-Lewis 7, Jordan 2, McCormick 6, Dalton 25.

COAL GROVE 13 19 13 8 — 53: Music 13, Borders 11, Gannon 8, Harmon 8, McKenzie 7, Smith 6.

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