Chillicothe’s balance overwhelms visiting Portsmouth in SEOAL tilt

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Chillicothe’s Anthony Hitchens led four Cavaliers in double figures with 17 points
Balance was the calling card of the Chillicothe Cavaliers Friday night. Chillicothe
put four players into double figures and used a 19-2 first quarter run
to cruise to a 79-51 win over the visiting Portsmouth Trojans in a
Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game. Anthony Hitchens led game scorers with 17 points for Chillicothe and also added five assists.


CHILLICOTHE — Balance was the calling card of the Chillicothe Cavaliers Friday night.

Chillicothe put four players into double figures and used a 19-2 first quarter run to cruise to a 79-51 win over the visiting Portsmouth Trojans in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

“We knew Portsmouth was a young team with some good players who we are going to deal with in the coming years, but we're a veteran team and we should be able to get off to a good start against a young team like that,” Chillicothe coach Gary Kellough said. “It was a rough week coming off the win over North College Hill for our kids. Sometimes we weren't focused how we wanted to be, but we survived and our kids got the job done.

“We still have to get better with some of the things we want to do.”

Anthony Hitchens led game scorers with 17 points for Chillicothe and also added five assists. Stuart Beverly followed with 15 points, Ray Chambers had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Seth Dawes chipped in 11 points.

“If we're getting good balance, we know we are doing some good things,” Kellough said. “It was nice to get a lot of kids involved, in general, and get everyone's confidence up.”

Chillicothe (6-1, 4-0) left no doubt in the first quarter, connecting on nine of 17 field goals and outrebounding Portsmouth (4-5, 2-2) 12-4.

Much like the game, the Cavaliers' five-minute run at the end of the first quarter was balanced. Hitchens and Dawes each contributed five points during the run, and Ron Smith nailed a trey at the buzzer to put the Cavaliers ahead 25-8 after the first period.

“Chillicothe shot the ball well in the first quarter, and we dug ourselves a hole we couldn't come out of,” Portsmouth coach Josh Shoemaker said. “Anthony Hitchens does a good job of setting their offense up and creating good shots. We had trouble finding him throughout the night.

“I'm proud of my kids. They battled through and played hard, but Chillicothe is just a good basketball team.”

The Cavaliers also caused the Trojans problems on the defensive side, using an on and off full-court press to force 24 turnovers in the contest, four coming during the 19-2 first quarter run.

Andrew Bendolph had 14 points for Portsmouth, while Nate Cadogan collected a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Both teams don't hit the floor again until Friday. Chillicothe remains at home to face Logan. The Trojans return to Portsmouth for a game against Athens.

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