DIII Sectional Champs
With a trip to The Convo on the line, Zane Trace and Adena earned wins in the Boys Division III Sectional Finals Friday. The two will face each other Sunday March 1st.
Getting there was not easy.
Game 1: Zane Trace 56, Piketon 50
The #9 Pioneers reached the District Tourney in Division II last season, and to get there again, they’d need to get past Piketon, which proved to be an unpredictable team.
Zane Trace took control early on with lads of 18-21 after the first and maintained a 31-26 game at halftime. Piketon fell behind by 10 in the second half but managed to pull within 44-42, but in racing terms, catching the leader is one thing, passing them is another.
Each tie the Redstreaks threatened, Zane Trace managed to pull ahead by five.
Per usual, Cam Evans was tough to control. The SVC Player of the Year netted 26, including five three-pointers while Colby Swain scored 10 while Nick Nesser (8), Triton Davidson (6) and Luke Johnson (4) teamed for another 18.
Levi Gullion led the Piketon attack with 18 and Tyree Harris tallied 11. Brody Fuller (9), Chris Chandler (7), Logan Nichols (3) and Tre Swayne (2) combined for 21.
Game 2: Adena 53, Alexander 41
The Warriors historic run to the Division III District championship game last year was memorable, and the team has had plenty of motivation to return.
The community was rocked in late January when a car crash left team captain Brandon Smith and his brother Jacob critically injured.
Friday’s battle with Alexander was one more mountain to climb.
The Warriors darted out to a 10-2 lead on Alexander, but the Spartans went on a 12-0 run to assume the lead and went into the intermission with a 19-15 advantage.
Then came a physical second half of play which ended up seeing Alexander Head Coach Jimmy Kearns being sent to the showers early and the game slipping away from the Spartans.
Adena tightened up the defense in the third period and attacked the basket. After trailing most of the period, the Warriors scrapped back to tie the game at 27 on a three-pointer by Jarret Garrison and Preston Sykes laid in a basket to give Adena the lead to close out the quarter.
They wouldn’t trail again.
In the moments after, just 85 seconds into the fourth, Kearns was ejected arguing a call as Alexander fell behind 32-27. Logan Bennett sank three free throws to extend the margin to 8-points.
Play was stopped for nearly five minutes to settle some rowdy fans. Once play resumed, Adena had all the momentum and stretched their lead to 43-30 on a basket by Cade McKee.
Bennett and Sykes had their hands full with controlling 6’10” Caleb Terry, who finished the game with 10 points. Kaleb Easley led Alexander with 14 points.
The Warriors were paced by Bennett and Sykes with 12 points each, Jarret Garrison added 11, McKee 9 while Nate Throckmorton and Dillon McDonald combined for another 9.
It’s back to The Convo for both Adena and Zane Trace. They’ll tip off at 5:30pm on Sunday March 1st.