COAL GROVE, Ohio — Whether it was speed, rebounding, offense or defense, Chesapeake had it all working for its boys basketball team on Tuesday as the Panthers handed Coal Grove a 76-26 defeat in an Ohio Valley Conference game at Dawson-Bryant High School.
Dilan Caldwell scored 10 points in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 17 to to push Chesapeake (15-2, 10-1 OVC) to a 43-11 halftime lead. Caldwell entered the game off the bench for Chesapeake head coach Ryan Davis at 3:43 of the first quarter and made an immediate impact.
Chesapeake’s offense was diverse with three players managing 10 points or more and every player on Davis’ varsity roster scored.
“We played really well tonight,” Davis said. “We played really well defensively and gave ourselves some easy looks. Everybody played well, everybody played hard.”
Caldwell knocked down his first three shots on three consecutive Panthers’ possessions to take what had been a 10-3 Chesapeake lead and make it 20-3.
“If someone is struggling we always have someone who picks us up, always someone helps us throughout the game,” said Caldwell, a sophomore guard who downplayed his offensive contribution. “I’m just here to play the game.”
Josh Cox scored six points but made his impact with five rebounds and four blocked shots. Trent Dearth joined Caldwell in opening the first period hot with seven points and finished with 11.
Things only got worse for Coal Grove (4-11, 3-8) as it struggled to limit its turnovers and was unable to match the Panthers’ speed.
Chesapeake forced Coal Grove into a 22-4 disadvantage in turnovers.
It was a pace the Panthers carried deep into the ball game and didn’t let up until its final possession when it allowed the clock to run out.
Coal Grove got started on the right foot. Cory Borders stroked a 3-pointer to open a 3-0 lead for the Hornets on the game’s second possession, but he managed only one more basket the rest of the way to finish with five points and Coal Grove did not score again until 1:05 remaining of the first quarter when Perry Kingery’s basket made the score 20-5 for the Panthers.
The Hornets’ high scorer was Evan Gannon with seven points.
Coal Grove’s next game won’t get much as it heads to the Conley Center on Friday to take on the Ironton Fighting Tigers in another OVC matchup.
Chesapeake has managed to stay one game behind its arch-rival Fairland, the only team in the OVC to beat Chesapeake, and the two will rematch on Friday on Norm Persin Court. The Dragons fell 55-47 at Gallia Academy on Tuesday, dropping into a tie with the Panthers at the top of the OVC.
“Turnovers at the end of the game were really crucial last time,” Caldwell said. “Maybe we could put a little more pressure too.”
CHESAPEAKE 25 18 16 17 — 76: Grim 6, N. Cox 8, Blankenship 9, Caldwell 17, Jackson 10, Dearth 11, J. Cox 6, Taylor 6, Lemley 3.
COAL GROVE 7 4 11 4 — 26: Kingery 4, Borders 5, Gannon 7, Smith 4, Ferguson 2, Hicks 4.