SVC Champs to play for district title
After a fast start in Sunday evening’s
D-III district semifinal, Northwest gave
top-seed Zane Trace all they wanted, but
in the end, the SVC champs survived and
advanced with a 52-48 win.

Zane Trace started fast attacking the glass
off the dribble and then knocking down
two threes – Kirk Maxwell and Drew
Davis – to open up a 14-7 advantage.
Unfortunately, a few things did go wrong
in that first quarter that made for a tough
match-up the rest of the half. Rick
Chamberlin – one of the elite defenders
in the entire southeast – picked up two
early fouls forcing him to the bench for the
rest of the half. This put Zane Trace in a
tough spot trying to defend Northwestâ
€™s Hank Leslie. Leslie, a player that the
SVC became aware of last week when he
dropped 29 points on Huntington in the
sectional championship, is a 6-5 versatile
player who as great feet and is a bear to
defend in an isolation situation. With
Chamberlin out, Leslie went to work
scoring, forcing ZT into more foul trouble,
and creating some looks for his teammates
on the perimeter. Northwest grabbed a 19-
18 lead, and after the lead exchanged
three more times, the two teams eventually
went to the half tied at 24-24.

The third quarter brought Chamberlin
back to the court. The senior did pick up
another foul on a tough call with 3:44
remaining, but in the four-and-a-half
minutes he was on the floor, it was by far
the quietest Leslie was all night, and ZT
was able to open up a lead. That lead
climbed to as much as seven, but
Northwest had a run left in them and again
the run was centered around Leslie.

The problem with Chamberlin being off the
floor, it forced ZT to send help. This led to
open opportunities on the perimeter and as
a couple triples started to fall, ZT’s
lead was closed to one at 43-42. Leslie
then scored to take a 44-43 lead.
Maxwell quickly answered to take the
lead back, and the Pioneers would never
trail again. Gabe Haynes and Davis
eventually put the game away at the charity

(now 24th all-time) led Zane
Trace with 22 points and Drew Davis and
Gabe Haynes both scored 11 points. Zane
Trace really struggled from beyond the
three-point line; however, late in the game
when they started turning down the triple
and attacking the glass they started to live
on the free throw line. The Pioneers made
only three of 14 attempts from deep, but
they made good on 17 of 24 free throws.