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Minford holds on to edge Panthers

Chesapeake Panthers’ Javon Thompson (left) scoops in a layup against Minford during Friday’s tournament game. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos )

Chesapeake Panthers’ Javon Thompson (left) scoops in a layup against Minford during Friday’s tournament game. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos

Jim Walker



JACKSON — When it came down to crunch time, the Chesapeake Panthers couldn’t crunch the right numbers.

Chesapeake shot just 2-of-12 from the field and had three crucial turnovers in the fourth quarter as the Panthers lost 44-39 to the Minford Falcons in the Division III sectional finals on Friday.

“We had our chances. We just made some mistakes at the end that hurt us and we had some breaks go against us,” said Panthers’ coach Ryan Davis.

Javon Thompson put on an offensive showcase in a losing effort. Knocking down NBA-type 3-pointers, Thompson scored 24 points including six from well behind the arc.

Caleb Heffner had nine rebounds and Chad Meadows seven as the Panthers held a 28-25 rebound edge.

The Panthers were just 14-of-40 from the floor for 35 percent.

Jared McCray had 13 points and nine rebounds to lead Minford (19-4). Austin McBee also scored 13 points.

Thompson hit a pair of triples to put the Panthers up 10-4 and a layup by Heffner put the Panthers ahead 12-6 at the end of the quarter.

A 3-pointer by Kenton Gullion to start the second quarter got Minford within 12-9. Chesapeake scored seven unanswered points to lead 19-9 with 5:00 left in the half.

The lead was 24-12 with 3:02 on the clock when Heffner fed Thompson for a layup, but two foul shots by Evan Howard and a layup by McBee made it 24-16 at the half.

McBee hit two 3-pointers and Cody Stapleton had another as Minford took a 32-30 lead. A put-back by Meadows with 28 seconds on the clock tied the game heading into the fourth quarter.

Thompson’s trey gave Chesapeake a 37-34 lead with 4:44 left. McCray made a layuup and a three-point play as Minford took a 39-37 lead.

Heffner’s layup tied the game with 2:09 to go, but a baseline jumper by McBee at the 1:53 mark gave Minford the lead for good at 41-39.

The Panthers appeared to take the lead when Thompson drained yet another 3-pointer, but an offensive foul was called on a screen and wiped out the shot.

The Panthers missed on the chance to tie when they were guilty of a turnover with 23 seconds left.

Stapleton was fouled two seconds later and hit both shots for a 43-39 lead. After a missed shot by Chesapeake, Howard was fouled and hit one free throw to set the final score with nine seconds left.

The Panthers finish the season 17-6. Davis praised his players including the three seniors Thompson, Lindsey and Duffield.

“This is one of the funnest years I’ve had,” said Davis. “We did some things different and they bought into what we tried to do. They would ask questions and do what you told them.”

Chesapeake won the regular season meeting 44-42.

Minford 6 10 16 12 = 44

Chesapeake 12 12 8 7 = 39

MINFORD (19-4): Jared McCray 6 0 1-2 13, Austin McBee 3 2 1-2 13, Cody Stapleton 0 1 2-2 5, Zach Farrar 1 0 0-0 2, Kenton Gullion 1 2 0-2 8, Evan Howard 0 0 3-4 3, Brandon Rowe 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Justice 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-40 7-12 44. 3-point goals: 5-14. Rebounds: 7 offense, 18 defense = 25 (McCray 9). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 6. Steals: 4 (McBee 3). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 8. Fouled out; None.

CHESAPEAKE (17-6): Nick Duffield 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb Lindsey 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb Lindsey 2 0 2-2 6, Javon Thompson 2 6 2-2 24, Chad Meadows 3 0 0-1 6, Andrew Saunders 0 1 0-0 3. Totals: 14-40 4-5 39. 3-point goals: 7-15. Rebounds: 10 offense, 18 defense = 28 (Heffner 9, Meadows 7). Team rebounds: 4. Assists: 4 (Heffner 3). Steals: 4 (Lindsey 2). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Lindsey (4th 0:09).