Clinton Massie got close at 46-44 but Chillicothe created separation for an eleven point victory Friday night.
The Cavs entered the fourth period with a 39-34 margin and then Massie closed the gap to two points with 1:45 left in regulation. Cory Saddler hit a layup and Zach Santoro followed up with a free throw. A pattern for Chillicothe all season has been allowing a fourth quarter lead slip away.
“I just looked at our guys and said ‘This is fun, isn’t it’” Coach Eric Huffer said in his postgame interview on WBEX. “’You’re in a hostile environment, you’re pushin’ through adversity, you’re being a band of brothers, a team’. That’s what I’ve been looking for out of this team.”
The Cavs has answered the bell when it has come to finishing in the fourth quarter in four of the last five games. “Really seeing us growing and acting like young me on and off the court” said Huffer.
The Falcons had knocked down some shots early to take a 5-0 lead, but Chillicothe came back as the aggressor to take a 7-6 lead on a shot by Isaiah Johnson. Massie tied the game at 11, but Chillicothe used an 11-0 run to double the score over the next five minutes on a couple of three balls by Tommy Bolte and another by Eddie Wells. Chillicothe’s defensive pressure also forced 15 Clinton Massie turnovers, nine coming in the first half.
Tommy Bolte led all scorers with 26 points and Isaiah Johnson added 15. For Massie, Saddler dropped in a team leading 14 points and Zantoro added 11.
Chillicothe (7-6/4-2) will travel to Dayton Jefferson Tuesday while Clinton Massie (5-4/2-2) will host Miami Trace Saturday.