Following their 62-52 win over Portsmouth Friday, Chillicothe stands alone in second place of the SEOAL.
“We took the unconventional route to be where we’re at, but we’re happy to be here”, Cavs Coach Drew Meister in his post game chat on WBEX.
The Cavs have had their rough stretches this season, but with back-to-back league victories (and winners of three straight for the first time), Chillicothe is 5-3.
Warren earned a 63-59 overtime victory at Logan to stand atop the SEOAL at 7-0, while the Chieftains slipped to 4-4 and the Trojans are 4-3. Portsmouth and Warren were snowed out last week.
A nip-and-tuck first half turned into a 4-point Chillicothe lead at the half as Adam Bixler sank a three from the left corner to put the Cavaliers ahead 23-19 at the half.
Portsmouth regained the lead on a three by Sky Oliver for a 28-25 margin in the 3rd quarter. The lead then changed hands three more times until Zach Johnson poured in the Cavs’ next 8 points. Chillicothe had a 33-32 lead and it’s the closest Portsmouth would get the rest of the game.
Nate Rosenbauer gave the Cavs what they needed to begin to pull away. The freshman point guard drained a three pointer to close out the third period, opened the fourth with a pair of free throws and then drilled another bulls eye for an 10-0 run for a 45-33 Cavalier lead.
“I’ve been saying the last couple of times out, we’re growing. And a large part of that growth is to this young man here Nate Rosenbuaer,” Meister said in praising the 5’9” guard who scored a career-high 12 points. “I’m just proud as can be the way he’s seeing the floor, understanding his role and picking his spots… and also knows how to guard, and that’s why he’s out there.”
Rosenbauer said it was easy to explain the momentum swing, “I think we had great ball movement which allowed our three point shooters to get open.”
The Trojans shot better than Chillicothe from the field (20-of-40) but the Cavs had four more buckets and from the line, Chillicothe was 13-of-19 to Portsmouth’s 10-of-19. The big statistical difference would be taking care of the ball. Chillicothe forced 16 Trojans turnovers and committed just six of their own.
Meister also credited the unsung heroes in the victory, “Nolan (Taylor) was the most active…” Taylor was the “paint man” for the Cavs. Meister says he’s “A guy that you can roam off of a bit, and he rotated tremendously well, and he got a couple of blocked shots “.
Johnson finished with 25 points and Rosenbauer’s 12. Bixler and Taylor had 9 each, Devin Zehner added three while Tim Beard and Tommy Bolte added two each. Jayllen Carter lead Portsmouth with 31 points and Oliver added 11.
The Cavs improved to 6-11 and prepares for a battle with Washington Court House at Hatton Gym this Tuesday.