Three-and-five. The Cavs record January 4th after a 42-40 loss at Canal Winchester.
Fast forward 47 days later and Chillicothe is 12-and-1 following a 61-53 win at East Clinton to close out the regular season.
Tommy Bolte scored 20 of his game-high 27 points in the second half, including a six-point swing to break a 51-51 tie with 1:25 remaining.
“If I woulda guessed he had 18 or 20, looked up and he had 27” said Astros Head Coach Scott Streber. “I thought we did a great job on him and he ended up with 27. That shows you what kind of a great player he is.”
The Cavs struggled with their outside shooting, making just 5-of-16 shots from the field and 1-of-5 from 3-point range, but maintained a 30-23 halftime lead.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well” said Cavs Head Coach Eric Huffer “but we hit them when we had to. They really clogged it up and played great gap defense on us and made us take outside shots… made Tommy take contested shots. We were able to get through it.”
The Cavs began finding success along the baseline as Isaiah Johnson scored most of his 13 points within five feet of the bucket. Matt Benson and Eddie Wells teamed for another 13 while Nate Rosenbauer added three and Jordan Johnson drained a three from 20-plus one of five three pointers for the Cavs on the night.
Chillicothe had a 9-point lead after Bolte dropped in his first three-ball at 5:28 in the third quarter, but East Clinton began chipping away and forged a 39-39 tie with seconds remaining in the period. The Cavs held a 44-41 lead after three.
The Astros were able to hang around and took a 51-49 lead with 2:45 left in regulation. Bolte tied the game at 51, then nailed a three-pointer out of a Cavs time out and added a three-point play for an 8-0 run and the Cavs were back in control.
“The effort was there” said Streber “and that third quarter, we made that run… the last three games we’ve won we played four quarters. I thought in the second quarter we let down energy-wise and kinda got our heads out of the game a little bit and made some turnovers… and a team like that (Chillicothe) is gonna make you pay for it.”
The win gave the Cavs a 10-2 SCOL mark but the Cavs missed out on a piece of the league title when Washington thumped Hillsboro 50-29 in the D-II Sectional Semi-final at Southeastern High School Wednesday. The schools agreed to use the game as the SCOL makeup game that was to have been played this Monday.
“I’m okay with that” said Huffer. “They deserved it. We had our opportunities to beat Court House and we didn’t. “ A 49-47 loss to the Blue Lions at Hatton Gym January 17th has been the only speed bump for the Cavs during their stretch to the post season.
The Cavaliers will face Reynoldsburg Saturday at 1pm in the D-I Central District Tournament.