Nate Rosenbauer poured in 26 points in an 82-66 win at Miami Trace to put Chillicothe in sole possession of second place in the SCOL.
In their first meeting, Isaiah Johnson lit the Panthers up for 26, but Rosenbauer’s career high propelled a top-to-bottom effort to give the Cavaliers their eighth win in their last nine games.
Chillicothe blistered the nets of the Panther Pit hitting five consecutive three pointers to create the early separation. Johnson got the scoring party started. After Tyrae Pettiford drop in a free throw to start the game, Johnson hit from the side, then Rosenbauer knocked down a three, followed by Eddie Wells, Tommy Bolte and Johnson with another and it was 15-3 Cavaliers in the first four minutes of the game.
Chillicothe maintained a double figure lead at the break 41-30.
The Miami Trace approach to start the second half was active and physical.
“We knew they were gonna bring a storm in the second half” said Cavs Coach Eric Huffer. “I thought we weathered that and we stuck together… I don’t know that we would’ve done that in December. I’m proud of our guys.”
The Panthers’ barrage included an 11-0 run to whittle the lead to 43-41 just 2:52 into the third period. Miami Trace’s Cedric Pettiford had an opportunity to tie the game at 44, but failed on two attempts from the free throw line. Chillicothe put together a string of baskets by Matt Benson, Rosenbauer and Bolte to increase the Cavs’ lead to 56-45 over the next two minutes. By the end of the third, Chillicothe led 63-49 ending a Panthers threat.
All but two of the Chillicothe points in the fourth period came from the charity stripe. On the night, the Cavs hit 26-of-36 free throws to 15-of-27 for the Panthers. Chillicothe shot 56% from the field to 48% for Miami Trace.
Rosenbauer made 12-of-14 free throws and 6-of-7 from the field. His teammates were effective with 14-points each for Nolan Taylor and Tommy Bolte for the double figure scorers.
The Panthers’ Trevor Smith had 24 points while Cedric Pettiford had 18, 14 of them in the second half. His brother Tyrae added 11 more.
The Cavs (11-6/7-2) will host Clinton Massie (8-4/5-2) Saturday night at Hatton Gym. Miami Trace (13-4/6-3) will host Unioto Saturday night.