Chesapeake boys record big upset
JACKSON, Ohio — Chesapeake pulled off the upset of the year in southeastern Ohio, maybe in all of Ohio.
The seventh-seeded Panthers (15-10) defeated No. 2 seed Eastern Pike, the seventh-ranked team in the state in Division III, Saturday in the Jackson 2 high school boys basketball sectional championship game at Jackson High School, 58-49.
With the victory Chesapeake moves into the district semifinals against either third-seeded Western Pike or No. 6 seed West Union at 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Ohio University’s Convocation Center in Athens.
“We’ve been in these situations a lot this season, having a lead late against a good team,” Panthers coach Ryan Davis said. “We ended up losing games we had a chance to win.”
Unlike five previous similar games, Chesapeake didn’t fold this time. The Panthers hit eight free throws and Eli Archer scored two baskets in the final 2:26 to secure the triumph over the Eagles (23-1).
Chesapeake’s defense, a weakness in the first quarter, became a strength in the second. The Panthers turned four Eagles turnovers into points during a 13-0 run that turned a nine-point deficit into a 24-20 lead. Eastern called two timeouts during the streak, but didn’t solve Chesapeake’s pressure and trailed 27-24 at halftime.
Eastern’s Hunter Cochenour made a trio of two-point shots, all from the left corner, in the first period, but was held scoreless in the second. Panthers freshman Levi Blankenship, however, added two 3-pointers in the second quarter to one in the first to spark the run. Blankenship finished with a game-high 15 points.
With much of the crowd expecting Eastern to rally in the third quarter, Chesapeake turned up the pressure and the Eagles didn’t respond well, as the Panthers outscored them 14-7 to take a 41-31 lead into the final eight minutes.
Eastern pulled within 45-38 after a Cochenour 3-pointer with 3:29 to play, but moved no closer as Chesapeake closed out the win.
“Eastern has a lot of seniors and a lot of experience and one of the better coaches (Tom Barrick) in Ohio,” Davis said. “This is big.”
Davis’ game plan was to pressure the Eagles’ guards and make passing to 6-foot-6 big man Michael Miller difficult. Chesapeake did just that, creating 14 turnovers. The Panthers also boxed out well and limited Eastern to one shot, often one the Eagles didn’t prefer to take.
“We stuck with what we wanted to do,” Davis said.
Tylan Hutchison scored 14 and Archer 13 for Chesapeake. Hutchison grabbed eight rebounds.
Cochenour led the Eagles with 18 points. Cody Weaver scored 12 and Miller 10.
CHESAPEAKE 11 16 14 17 — 58: Grim 2, Cox 4, Blankenship 15, Jackson 6, Dearth 4, Hutchison 14, Archer 13.
EASTERN PIKE 18 6 7 18 — 49: Leist 7, Cochenour 18, Clemons 2, Weaver 12, Miller 10.