Adena topples Peake in district finals

March 10, 2019

ATHENS, Ohio — Chesapeake’s run to the Ohio Division III boys basketball district finals probably carries more long-term than shortterm implications.

The seventh-seeded Panthers (15-11) lost 53-40 to No. 1 seed Adena (19-6) on Saturday in the district championship game at Ohio University’s Convocation Center. Chesapeake, though, returns every player on the active roster and could be considered a prime candidate to make a similar, possibly longer, run next season.

A strong example for the Panthers’ hope in 2019-20 is Levi Blankenship, who led them with 11 points.

“I hope they know what they’re gunning for, now,” Chesapeake coach Ryan Davis said of his players. “It’s been a few years since we’ve been here. I tried to stress how unique an experience this is and you can’t count on getting it again.”

The free throw line was a major factor in the Panthers’ undoing. Chesapeake made just 7 of 17 foul shots and three times missed an opportunity to take the lead while at the line. Adena made 14 of 21 free throws in advancing to the regional semifinals.

“We weren’t hitting our free throws and had a lot of empty possessions,” Davis said.

Missed foul shots, though, weren’t the lone sources of consternation.

“We didn’t get the ball to Eli Archer enough,” Davis said of his 6-foot-4 sophomore center and leading scorer for the season. “I don’t think we got him the ball one time in the fourth quarter. He needs to touch the ball. We had the opportunity to throw the ball into the post and we made bad passes.”

Archer scored 10 points, but the Warriors took advantage of his lack of touches in the final eight minutes, outscoring the Panthers 18-7 to pull away from a 35-33 lead after three quarters. After Tylan Hutchison’s basket tied it with 7:46 remaining, Adena’s Logan Bennett, who scored a game-high 17, made two free throws at the 6:14 mark to give the Warriors a lead they didn’t relinquish.

Chesapeake stayed close through the first three periods, thanks to opportunistic defense. The Panthers scored 15 points off turnovers, 12 on fast breaks. Davis, though, said he thought his team could have scored more from its defense, which created 15 turnovers.

“We usually cause more turnovers than that,” Davis said. “We created them in spurts.”

Rebounding was a problem, however, as Adena turned a 17-rebound advantage into points, outscoring Chesapeake 9-2 on the offensive boards.

“Early on, they scored 16 points around the basket,” Davis said of the Warriors. “We made adjustments, but there aren’t many you can make right there.”

Zach Fout scored 14 for Adena.

CHESAPEAKE 8 12 13 7 — 40: Blankenship 11, Jackson 6, Dearth 6, Hutchison 7, Archer 10.

ADENA 12 13 10 18 — 53: Throckmorton 2, Fout 14, Bennett 17, Sykes 8, Foglesong 9, Shipley 3.