Coach Gary Kellough started five juniors against Chillicothe, but this group of Pioneer juniors are playing their third season of varsity basketball and their experience showed in a 45-33 win over 2-0 Chillicothe.
The Pioneers controlled the tempo and defensively held the Cavalier duo of Jayvon Maughmer and Brandon Noel to a combined 12 points.Offensively Chillicothe had no answer for Pioneer guard Cam Evans who consistently took the ball strong to the basket and scored 25 of the ZT 45 points.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 12-7 first quarter lead and never trailed in the game. The Cavaliers trailed 17-15 midway in the second period but three fouls on Tre Beard and 1 of 7 shooting from the three point line hurt the Cavs in the first half.
The Cavaliers shot just 15 of 50 for 30% from the floor. Unbelievably Chillicothe did not shoot a single free throw. Zane Trace was 19 of 38 from the floor, 2 of 4 on threes, and 5-10 from the charity stripe.
ZT won the game by being the more physical team, contesting Cavalier shots in the paint, and controlling the tempo all night. Evans and Triton Davidson scored all 20 Pioneer points in the second half. Two of the Davidson buckets were dunks.
Tre Beard was plagued by foul trouble but was the only Cav in double figures with 11 points. Maughmer added 8. The Pioneers got 10 from Davidson and Evans’ 25.
Coach Gary Kellough felt this should be a confidence booster headed to Unioto Friday night in a game to be broadcast on 94 Country WKKJ.
Only five Pioneer players played in the second half and depth may be an issue early in the season.
The Cavs go to (2-1). Coach Eric Huffer commented that his club needs to get some of their new varsity players more involved and to understand having intensity on the road.
The Cavs host Miami Trace in the FAC opener Friday.