CHESAPEAKE -- Normally when arch-rivals Chesapeake and Fairland meet on the hardwood, fans can expect a boys high school basketball contest that may be decided in the final minutes of the game.
On Wednesday night that wasn't the case.
Despite the opening quarter, the Panthers (4-3) outplayed the Dragons en route to an impressive 63-48 victory.
Head coach Ryan Davis knows the victory was important for his team.
"This is a big win for us. Anytime you beat Fairland it's a big win," he said. " We came into tonight 3-3. We lost to three quality teams. So this is a good win to build on."
In the opening period, the Dragons came out on fire.
Fairland (3-5) executed on all cylinders in its half court offense, taking a 22-10 lead at the end of the quarter.
Junior guard Chad Fisher put on a show, scoring 12 of his game-high 23 points.
However, from the second quarter on the Panthers dominated play.
In the second quarter, Chesapeake took advantage of Fairland's sloppy play, outscoring the Dragons 22-6 providing a three point advantage at the break.
In the second half, Chesapeake managed to add to its lead. The Panthers front court dominated the glass on both sides of the floor.
Forwards Colin Kennedy and Trent Saunders scored of multiple easy buckets off put-backs.
On the defensive side, the Panthers outrebounded the Dragons leading to baskets in transition as Chesapeake continually beat Fairland down the floor.
"He got some offensive rebounds from our guys," Davis said. "On the defensive end of the floor we rebounded the ball well. We did a good job of limiting them to one shot and getting the ball down the floor. We have the ability to run and as the game went on I thought we ran the floor really well."
Fairland head coach John McClung felt his team's conditioning was a real problem as the game went on.
"I think we just lost our legs," he said. "We have been talking to our kids telling them we need to get into better shape. To play at this level with the Chesapeakes and Irontons you got to be at a high level when it comes to conditioning."
The Panthers' Kennedy finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. Austin McMaster scored 16 points, and Nathan Copley had 14.
Saunders added 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Dragons' Evan Salyers scored 14 points and pulled down five rebounds.
On Saturday, Chesapeake hosts the Beasts of the Southeast Basketball Invitational beginning at 2 p.m.
The Panthers will play at 8 p.m. against Huntington Ross (NC).
On Friday, the Dragons will try to shake a four-game skid at Rock Hill.