The Cavaliers overcame a 46-41 deficit at Portsmouth (3-5/1-2) to get past the Trojans 58-56 Friday night.
Chillicothe (2-5/2-1) regained the lead on a 6-0 run to start the 4th period and Tommy Bolte drained one of his five 3-pointers for a four point margin with 5:05 remaining.
Chillicothe never trailed again and the Cavs notched their second straight win.
The game opened easy enough. Shots that weren’t finding the bottom of the net earlier in the season began to fall and the Cavs jumped out to a 10-2 lead. Portsmouth closed to within 14-10 after the first 8 minutes.
But opening the second period, Zach Johnson dropped in a pair of free throws and a running layup sandwiched between two Bolte bombs and Chillicothe’s lead widened to ten. Adam Bixler and Pierce Knisley added a pair of buckets each and the Cavs had a comfortable lead at the break 34-12.
The Cavs made 8 of 9 field goals in their hottest streak of the season.
The Trojans answered in the third quarter. The home team rolled in the first six points of the half to pull with seven… then Portsmouth used an 18-2 run to tie the game at 36 at the 2:42 mark on a three by Jayllen Carter. Sky Oliver drained a three-ball from the corner and Portsmouth had its first lead of the night 39-36. Portsmouth completed the quarter out scoring Chillicothe 25-7.
The Trojans’ third quarter dominance feasted off of luring the Cavs into Portsmouth’s clutches.
“We fell into that trap with them switching to a zone and extending it” explained Coach Drew Meister “and we were trying to make attack moves from 35 feet and that’s not really our strength. When we had the open look 3 it really was ‘fool’s gold’ for us and it led to run outs.” Which is when Portsmouth made its furious run. “They’ve got the athleticism and the skills kids to do that in a hurry.”
In the final period, the Cavs righted the ship.
“I thought we had good action without the ball tonight and it yielded some high percentage looks for us”. Meister’s Cavs hit 59% of their shots in the first half “We said ‘hey, we’re shooting the ball well because of where we’re shootin’ it’. Then the third quarter occurs and they were able to put a run out on us… we had to weather that storm.”
Carter led all scorers with 23 points, scoring 12 of his total in the 3rd quarter. Freshman Ky’re Allison followed with 15. The Cavs had 19-point efforts by both Johnson and Bolte and balanced scoring throughout, Adam Bixler and Nolan Taylor had 8 apiece and Knisley’s four.
The Cavs are off until next weekend when they’ll play two games in the Quaker Holiday Tournament at New Philadelphia.