Chillicothe to face Sugarcreek Garaway in the Quaker Holiday Classic consolation game Saturday at 6pm.
The effort was there, just no victory in Chillicothe’s opening match of the Quaker Holiday Classic Friday night in New Philadelphia.
The Cavaliers overcame a 16 point deficit but fell 59-51 to West Holmes.
Chillicothe’s Zach Johnson scored the first 8 points, but the Cavs saw West Holmes use high percentage shots off the low block to pull ahead 23-16 after the first quarter. The Knights made 10-of-12 shots in the period.
The Knights used an 11-2 run to begin to pull away, building a 34-18 lead with 2:33 left in the half. Chillicothe closed out the half on a 5-0 run on a three-pointer by Adam Bixler and a jumper by Tim Beard to close to 34-23.
“We had a pretty good scout set up and we didn’t apply that until the second half” said Cavs coach Drew Meister in his postgame interview on WBEX.
“So, it wasn’t anything dramatic at halftime we spoke of, we just reiterated some of the key points we wanted to do on the defense side.”
In the third quarter, the Cavs used extended pressure which forced West Holmes into mistakes which Chillicothe capitalized on.
“Their efficiency offensive end in the first half was the thing that sorta killed us and put us in that deep hole.”
But as the Cavs intensified its defensive efforts, it created opportunities to begin to whittle away at the Knights’ double digit lead.
“We had to cause them to shoot over contested shots, and that contributed to our ability to get rebounds.”
Over the final five minutes of the third quarter, Johnson and Tommy Bolte combined for 15-points to cut the West Holmes lead to 46-42 before Layne Perone knocked in a chip shot before the period ended.
The Cavs didn’t let up to start the 4th quarter. Bixler dropped in two free throws at 4:09 to cut the margin to two and hit another for a 50-49 a minute later.
The Knights hit one of two shots from the charity stripe, rebounded the miss and Brady Arnold hit a three pointer to end the Cavs threat.
Johnson led all scorers with 19 points. Bolte added 9, Bixler 8, Nolan Taylor 7 with Tim Beard and Nat Rosenbauer adding 4 points each. Arnold led West Holmes with 18 points and Ryan Neer added 11.
Chillicothe slips to 2-6 and will face Sugarcreek Garaway in the consolation match Saturday afternoon at 6pm. Garaway fell to New Philadelphia who will battle West Holmes in the nightcap at 8pm.
Coverage from New Philadelphia follows the Ohio State-Chicago State game on WBEX.