DIVISION III DISTICT CHAMPIONSHIP * THE CONVO IN ATHENS
Zane Trace Pioneers
Tough final quarter erases lead as ZT falls in district final
The Round of 32 marks the end of the road for the Zane Trace Pioneers as Chesapeake eliminated the SVC champions 43-40 in Saturday nightâ€™s Division III district championship at the Convo in Athens. The Panthers started the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run as ZT watched a seven-point lead after three turn into a four-point deficit. A Drew Davis triple finally stopped the bleeding, but the â€˜Peake had stolen the momentum as the game reached its final four minutes. Zane Trace would get within one point one more time at 39-38 when Kirk Maxwell connected on two free throws (the final two points of his outstanding career giving him an SVC 24th best all-time total of 1,213), but the red, white, and blue never could get over the hump to take the lead.
Unfortunately for Zane Trace, injuries started to play a role late. The Pioneers were already without Joel Tripp due to an injury in practice earlier this week, Gabe Haynes was in obvious pain with his ongoing shoulder issue, and then, Maxwell was forced to leave the game late with a problem with his leg. Despite all this, Zane Trace was still down just three with the ball at the end, but they were never really able to get Davis a very good look as the senior sharp-shooter had to fire a deep three as time expired.
Zane Trace started the game shooting poorly but playing well overall. Despite making only two of their 15 attempts in the first quarter, ZT trailed only 8-7 after one period of play. The two teams traded the lead in the second quarter as the Pioneers jumped out to a 14-10 advantage only to see Chesapeake answer to take a 22-18 lead at the half. Coming out of the locker room, Zane Trace took complete control of this game and appeared on their way to the Sweet 16. The Pioneers shot 63% in the third period while allowing the â€˜Peake just 15% during the quarter. As a result, ZT found themselves in control at 33-26 entering the final period thanks to a late third-quarter bucket from senior Dallas Cochenour.
The Pioneers finish their district runner-up season at 18-5. Zane Trace was led by Maxwell with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Davis added 10 for the Pioneers while Rick Chamberlin was really solid on the defensive end completely shutting down Chesapeakeâ€™s frontline scoring. Chamberlin scored just four points, but he did grab 10 rebounds and block four shots. The Pioneers out rebounded the Panthers, but the free throw line in the first half, the turnover bug in the second half, and the great play of Chesapeakeâ€™s all-district guard Nathan Copley all played key roles in the success of Chesapeake. Copley scored a game-high 29 points. He was the only Panther in double-figures.