Close, but not close enough for a win.
Chillicothe’s Zach Johnson hit his final basket of the night, a three-pointer, with 26 ticks left in regulation, but the Cavs came up short at Logan 62-58 in overtime.
Johnson dropped in 30 points on the night, 16 of them in the fourth quarter, to rally the Cavaliers and forced the extra period.
In OT, it was Logan getting the upper hand. The Chieftains jumped out to a 55-51 lead, but Chillicothe came back to tie the game at 56 on a lay in by Nolan Taylor with 2 minutes remaining. Logan’s Anthony McNeal nailed the sixth of his three-pointers to create separation at 59-56. A basket by Tim Beard cut the lead to 59-58 and the Cavs would get no closer.
“We rallied a little bit in some key spots that gave us that next hope for a shot at closing this one out, I think the guys just poured it out there” said Cavs Coach Drew Meister.
“They laid it on the line… and that effort was there and that next stage is the mental aspect of the game.” Meister credited the Logan coaching staff for keeping the Cavs off balance and off rhythm. “One of the things we’re still dealing with is trying to get everybody synchronized… I know for a fact our effort was not outmatched. It was a great basketball game.”
Chillicothe was behind by five points for most of the first half as Logan hit four of its first five shots and led 11-4 three minutes into the game. The Cavs trailed 12-7 after the first quarter and caught the Chieftains to tie the game at 18 with four minutes left till the break. Johnson gave the Cavs their first lead at 24-23 with a bank shot at the 1:33 mark and had the halftime lead at 26-25.
Logan pulled ahead 41-35 through three quarters before Johnson took over in the fourth. The senior hit 6 of 11 shots from the field in the period and added a couple of free throws leading up to the 51-51 score at the end of regulation.
The Cavs improved their shooting from Tuesday, hitting 43 percent for the game. Logan shot 57 percent and won the battle at the free throw line, and area of difficulty this season. Coach John Helber said before the game his team had struggled from the stripe most of the year which led to some of their seven losses. Friday, the Chieftains managed 12-of-19 shots the Chillicothe’s 5-of-7.
“It took a lot of energy out of everybody but I know our kids laid it on the line. I’m real proud of them.”
The 30 by Johnson was a season high. Tommy Bolte added 11 points, Tim Beard scored 6, Nolan Taylor had 5, Carl Harris, Jr. scored 4 and Adam Bixler added 2. Logan was led by McNeal’s 22 and Gavin Jourdan’s 16.
Logan (4-7/4-2) and Portsmouth (4-2) are tied for second place behind SEOAL unbeaten Warren.
Chillicothe (3-12/3-3) is off until a road trip to winless Jackson Friday.