CHILLICOTHE − All Chillicothe wanted was a win forward of its sport towards New Hope Christian Academy.
The Cavaliers have been on the cusp of securing their first successful file because the 2016-17 season. They’d stomped their final two opponents on the highway, and their solely remaining impediment was a Statesmen staff that was on the tail finish of a three-game successful streak.
They weren’t strolling into Thursday’s matchup at full energy, nonetheless. Jacey Harding, who broke this system’s all-time scoring file towards Logan Elm on Tuesday, wasn’t set to play towards the Statesmen.
Coach Anthony Gordon reexamined his plan of assault earlier than the sport. With out Harding, Chillicothe could not depend on a single participant to drive its offense. So he pitched the precise reverse philosophy. As a substitute of funneling the ball by a major scorer, Gordon utilized each participant he had obtainable.
“At this time we needed to change issues up and assault another way,” Chillicothe coach Anthony Gordon stated. “A bunch of various gamers stepped up, not just for the factors and the rebounds that Jacey usually provides us, however on the defensive finish. Each single particular person we subbed in as we speak got here with some depth, they usually communicated nicely. We in all probability performed our greatest defensive sport of the 12 months.”
Chillicothe tailored on the fly. It edged out New Hope for a 43-36 win at dwelling on Thursday night time and locked down its first successful file in a daily season throughout Gordon’s three years on the helm. Though just one participant ended the sport in double figures, 5 of the six Cavaliers who scored on Thursday recorded seven factors or extra.
Even when the Cavaliers slowed down throughout a second quarter by which they scored simply six factors, they by no means let up. Paige Huggins, who posted a team-high 10 factors, was the one participant for both staff to attain a area aim in all 4 quarters.
Huggins wasn’t alone, both. Chillicothe was with out its high scorer, and its roster rose to fill the void. Avery Erslan knocked down a pair of 3-pointers all through the sport and clocked out with 9 factors. Avery Cox and Miranda McCloy tagged on eight factors apiece, whereas Kiera Archer, who hadn’t scored earlier than halftime, ended the night time with seven factors.
“Everybody knew that it was their time to step up, and that is what’s nice about our staff,” Huggins stated. “Everybody is aware of that we have got to come back collectively to get the job achieved, and that is what we did tonight.”
However New Hope had a retort. Regardless of scoring simply six factors within the first quarter, a capturing barrage by Maren McCallister within the second quarter offered the surge New Hope wanted to trim the deficit. McCallister unloaded 4 area targets within the eight minutes earlier than the break and trimmed Chillicothe’s result in simply two factors come halftime.
McCallister by no means let up. Even after halftime, she pushed the Statesmen ahead and nipped on the Cavaliers’ heels. She ended the sport with 23 factors and was the one Statesman that scored greater than three factors on the Cavaliers protection within the second half.
However the Cavaliers locked down. They restricted the Statesmen’s manufacturing and stonewalled their rotation. Three different Statesmen scored except for McCallister, however none of them picked up greater than six factors all through the sport. McCallister’s effort was for naught. She had buried eight area targets all through the sport, however her teammates knocked down simply 5 area targets mixed.
“You need to restrict (McCallister), you recognize she’s going to get between 17 and 25 per sport,” Gordon stated. “However you positively should lock down the opposite 4 gamers. If she scores 23, they usually get 10 factors from elsewhere, that is solely 33 factors and it is best to really feel fairly good about us scoring sufficient to win that sport. That was the mindset entering into, and we needed to regulate as we went as a result of she is admittedly that good.”
The Cavaliers stormed by the primary portion of their season, and their aim of a successful file within the common season has come to fruition. Their rotation rose to the event and clobbered the Statesmen by a shared sense of want. All they wanted was a win, and their rotation delivered.