Cavs and Braves... it must be March
Wednesday 03-02-2011 5:00pm ET
wbex.com is doing a two part series previewing the Boys Division II District
Semi-Final match ups, scheduled for Friday night at Ohio University.
Click here to see the Warren-Waverly report.
Friday's first game of the Boys Division II District Semi-Final in the Convo pits, in the words of Logan Elm's Doug Stiverson, "another classic matchup with Chillicothe."
This will be the fifth consecutive year the Braves and Cavaliers have met, the third time in the Convo. The Braves hold a 3-1 edge, 1-1 at the District level.
For Logan Elm (16-6), the path is well traveled from the Pickaway County panhandle to Athens. Ohio University has been the site of seven straight post
seasons for the Braves. Stiverson acknowledges "We've had a good run here of late and have played a lot of games in the Convo." Sixteen total games to be exact, with four Regional appearances, one leading to Ohio Stat’s Value City Arena (2009) for the Final Four.
Chillicothe has also enjoyed their Convo conquests, with a 9-2 mark. The 2008 trip led to the biggest piece of hardware a team can gather… their Division’s state championship.
Cavs coach Gary Kellough hopes fans understand the value of their District tourney ticket, "I don't think people in Southern Ohio realize the level of competition that we've got in the Division 2 bracket out of those four schools (Chillicothe, Logan Elm, Warren and Waverly)... it's been a tradition the last 4 or 5 years of those schools dominating."
Getting back to Athens had a bit of a rocky road for both teams. Logan Elm had an uncharacteristic close to the regular season, dropping three of its last four games. Chillicothe was on the brink of elimination by 8th seeded Circleville (5-16) in the Sectional Semi-Final at Southeastern High School.
"We went through a patch at the end of the year," explained Stiverson. "We've been doing some things a little bit different offensively to try to get some easy baskets and our kids have responded to that."
The Braves had won their first eight games and were ranked in the Associated Press top five, right behind Chillicothe who debuted as the number-2 team after a 7-0 start of their own.
Stiverson says it was a learning experience he hopes pays off in the long run. "We talked to them going through that tough stretch of learning some lessons and taking those to the tournament."
What makes Logan Elm so effective is their team defense and the number of players who step up at any given time in a game on the offensive side.
Stiverson says "We've had different people every game and even within a game. Like last week, we had two guys really step up and score a lot of points for us in the first quarter, and then from there, it was a couple different people and that's made it difficult for people to concentrate on just one individual on our team and I think that's been part of our success this year."
The Braves are led offensively by Nathan Elswick. The 6'5" Ohio Christian University signee is averaging 13.3 points per game and is an outside threat. His sixty 3-point shots have tied him with Evan Blake and Kyle Jones for the 5th best on the Braves’ single season performance from beyond the arc. Elswick draws the attention of coach Kellough. "They've plugged him in to some of those past shooting player's roles of running a lot of stuff through him. And he's responded and done a real nice job."
Guard Jake Thomas was Logan Elm’s only starter coming back “and Nathan Elswick was one of our guys who came off the bench last year, and the rest of the guys played JV ball” added Stiverson. “ They've played unselfish basketball. We've really relied on our defense this year." Logan Elm has been yielding around 40 points per game defensively. Stiverson said "When you do that, you're going to win some games."
Kellough adds, the Braves are worthy of the respect they command. "Both of them (Thomas and Dylan Gabriel) are solid ball handlers, good defenders... and of course their front line players have done a real good job for them this year. They've got a good complimentary group that plays well together."
Chillicothe (19-3) is by no means a one-trick-pony, but it all starts with 6'6" guard
Jalen Ragland. The SEOAL Player of the Year and UTEP signee is scoring 20.5 points per game. He came out of the blocks with a 34 point game in the season
opener at Xenia. "He's lived up to his billing" chimed Coach Kellough. "He's
become more of a distributor, too and setting some other kids up to make their
games a lot better..." Like Elswick, Ragland makes the most of his game from
the outside, but he can take it inside, too.
The paint is where most opponents have had to make their biggest adjustments. The presence of 6'9" shot blocker Malik London alters hand-to-hand combat (averaging 5.1 blocks per game). In one defensive stance of the Cavs' SEOAL-clinching win at Warren, London swatted away three straight shots, finally gained the rebound and made it down the floor in time to make a basket on the other end.
After meeting four straight seasons, Stiverson says the Logan Elm scouting report on the Cavaliers isn't too complex. "The first thing, you gotta be able to handle their pressure... and when we do get to the basket, Malik's a great shot blocker and we're going to have to finish when we get down in there."
The cast around Ragland and London include the quickness of Tyler Manion, Zach Johnson, Isaac Beverly and Max Corcoran. When the Cavs want to go "big", they'll bring in 6'6" foreign exchange student Miloje Djacic.
One missing link for the Cavaliers is assistant coach Craig Hitchens who passed
away last April. Chillicothe has carried the former Cavalier guard's initials with the on the right sleeve of their uniform this season. Before his passing, Hitchens was instrumental in the development of point guard Tyler Manion. "You might have asked (two years ago), 'How could this kid be an All-League player?' He (Manion) still has a long way to go... We've had some good production from our coaches and some of the kids have developed into their roles we were looking for."
Trying to slow the Cavaliers down may be key for Logan Elm. Chillicothe is scoring 59.5 points per game, but the Cavs are 2-3 when they've scored less than 50 points. Chillicothe has surrendered 49.5 points per game defensively this season. However, during their current seven game winning streak, the Cavs have held opponents to 39 points per game.
Broadcast coverage of the Cavs-Braves game begins at 5:50pm Friday night on
WBEX (1490 AM) and WKKJ (94.3 FM).
ALL-SEOAL: Ragland, Kellough Lead the Way
Tuesday 03-01-2011 7:20am ET
Chillicothe's Jalen Ragland has been selected SEOAL Player of the Year by league coaches. The Cavs' Gary Kellough shares Coach of the Year honors with Portsmouth's Eugene Collins.
Ragland averaged 20.5 ppg during the regular season and is a pre-season signee of UTEP.
Coach Kellough led the Cavaliers to their third SEOAL title since 2006.
Also selected All-SEOAL, Malik London (Jr.) and Tyler Manion (Sr.). Zach Johnson (So.) is an Honorable Mention. Manion averaged 9.3 ppg and 4 assists per game. London averaged 10.3 points, 9 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game. Johnson averaged 8.8 ppg.
On the Girls All-SEOAL team, only Alyssa Oates was named Honorable Mention. Oates is a junior.
Jalen Ragland Malik London Tyler Manion
Gary Kellough Eugene Collins
Alyssa Oates Photos by Dana Cousins/wbex.com
2010-2011 ALL-SEOAL BOYS BASKETBALL
Malik London, Chillicothe* 6-8 11 C
Tyler Manion, Chillicothe 5-9 12 G
Jalen Ragland, Chillicothe 6-6 12 G
Ethan Moore, Gallipolis 6-1 12 G
Colt Chapman, Jackson 6-3 11 F
Kenneth Buckler, Logan 5-11 12 G-F
Tim Grosel, Marietta 5-10 11 G
Andrew Bendolph, Portsmouth* 5-11 12 G
Wayne Evans, Portsmouth 6-2 11 G
Dion McKinley, Portsmouth 6-6 11 F-C
Austin Cunningham, Warren 6-1 12 G
Grant Venham, Warren* 6-3 12 F
Honorable mention: Zach Johnson, Chillicothe; Jared Rutter, Logan; Wes Riley, Marietta; Tre Underwood, Portsmouth.
Player of the Year: Jalen Ragland, Chillicothe.
Co-coaches of the Year: Gary Kellough, Chillicothe; Eugene Collins, Portsmouth.
2010-2011 ALL-SEOAL GIRLS BASKETBALL
Samantha Barnes, Gallipolis 5-4 12 G
Nicole Chapman, Jackson 5-10 9 G
Madison Ridout, Jackson 5-9 9 G
Loryn Cassady, Logan* 5-6 12 G
Abbie Linton, Logan 5-10 12 F
Bailey Topf, Logan** 5-7 12 G
Erica Dawson, Marietta 5-9 10 G
Maegan Grosel, Marietta* 5-9 12 G
Ri-Chiele McGraw, Portsmouth 5-10 11 F
Jordanna Rauch, Warren 5-6 10 G
Honorable mention: Alyssa Oates, Chillicothe; Morgan Daniels, Gallipolis; Kari Jenkins, Jackson; Stephanie Murphy, Logan; Amanda Brown, Marietta; Hannah Foster*, Portsmouth; Grace Proctor, Warren.
Player of the Year: Erica Dawson, Marietta.
Coach of the Year: Pat Walsh, Logan.
*—indicates repeat member of All-SEOAL team. Cassady was named to the team as a sophomore in 2008-09.
Teams are selected via a vote of league coaches. Each team was accorded one automatic honorable mention selection.
Did You Miss the Cavs Unioto Game?
Sunday 02-27-2011 1:31pm ET
Catch the podcast of the Cavs-Unioto game. Click here.
Cavs Post 57-31 Win over Unioto
Saturday 02-26-2011 10:49pm ET
Chillicothe over powered Unioto in the third quarter, opening the flood gates en route to a 57-31 Boys Division II Sectional Championship Saturday night.
The Cavaliers outscored their cross town rivals 20-7 in the third period when Malik London hit 9 consecutive points. The 6'8" junior center had attempted a shot in the first half. Zach Johnson added four of his 15 points and Jalen Ragland nailed two more shots as the Cavs took a 41-22 lead and punched a ticket to next Friday's District Semi-Final with Logan Elm.
Chillicothe jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Brick Davis got Unioto on the board att he 5:30 mark in the first period. The Cavaliers went ahead 12-2 on baskets by Johnson and Tyler Manion. The guards accounted for all 14 of Chillicothe's points. Then Unioto closed out the quarter ona 6-0 run to cut the lead to 14-10.
The Shermans got closer with a shot to open the second period and took the lead on Christian Dunkle's three-pointer at 6:39 for a 15-14 lead.
The Cavs kept the Shermans at bay the rest of the way as Manion put Chillicothe back on top 16-15 and Ragland dropped a three for a 19-15 lead.
Chillicothe poured in 48% from the field to Unioto's 28%. While the Shermans hit 8 of their first 9 three point attempts in their semi-final win over Washington C.H. Wednesday, they made just 2-of-10 against the Cavaliers. Chillicothe was 3-of-8 beyond the arc.
Ragland led all scorers with 22 points, Johnson had 15, Manion 10 and London added 9 points 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Dunkle led Unioto with 10 points, Davis had 8, Cole Murray with 5, Andrew Warner 4 and Nick Rose and Chas Detillion added 2 each.
Unioto finishes its season 14-8, while Chillicothe improves to 19-3.
It's now "Basketball 30" time at Ohio University for Chillicothe Friday. The Cavs will play Logan Elm at 6:15pm with Waverly facing Warren in the nightcap at 8pm. Warren claimed a 53-48 overtime victory in their Sectional Final with cross county rival Marietta Saturday night.
Click on photos to see more, by Dana Cousins/wbex.com
Cavs-Tanks Shootout Saturday Night
Friday 02-25-2011 1:22pm ET
Saturday's Boy's Division II Sectional Final at Southeastern High School is a cross-town shootout between two schools not even five miles apart geographically.
Their district border one another. Some teachers and administrators live in one district but work in the other. It's a neighborhood rivalry far different from what Chillicothe has in the SEOAL or Unioto has in the SVC.
While for some, the game will mean bragging rights, what's on the line is a trip to Athens in next weekend's District tournament.
In the old days, the former Division I Chillicothe was seen as the "Goliath" to the Shermans' much smaller Division III "David". The two wouldn't be found on the same schedule due in part to the size difference. However, with enrollment changes over the last 10 years, the two have become more alike.
The schools entered into a regular season schedule in the early stages of the decade when Jeff Hobbs was coaching the Cavs and Ron Lovely was still directing the purple and gold, but the last two meetings have taken place on the floor of Larry Jordan Gymnasium at Southeastern. The Cavs have won both of those games, 74-56 in 2006 and 60-23 last year.
Wednesday night, #1 seeded Chillicothe (18-3) and SEOAL champion found themselves on the ropes, but managed to hang on for a 48-45 win in the first round over Circleville.
Meanwhile, the #5 seeded Shermans (14-7) went on an 18-7 run to pull away from Washington C.H. to set up the dance with Chillicothe.
Two years ago, Unioto was 1-20, but have turned the corner to earn respect with their second place finish in the SVC.
While Matt Hoops was pleased to come away with a first round win Wednesday night, he said he's "afraid a sleeping giant (the Cavaliers) was awakened" with a close outcome in the night's first game.
Hoops said if he had to compare Chillicothe to another team Unioto has faced, it would be SVC Gold Ball Champion Piketon. "
The comparison starts with team quickness "I think you have to be careful when you try to get into a track met type of game... we have to go when we can and be smart when you have to."
But it doesn't stop there. 6'6" guard Jalen Ragland presents a tough matchup on the perimeter "He's dangerous, a very good basketball player, the reason he's got a Division 1 scholarship... he's a great player." Wednesday,
Chillicothe's Malik London was off the court with a good bit of foul trouble, and the Cavs didn't have their 6'8" junior shot blocker for the final 4:30 of the game. Hoops notes London's presence in the paint "Malik's an outstanding defensive player, he allows them to do a lot of different things when he's on the floor."
The Cavaliers had a few things to adjust following their game with Circleville Wednesday night. Coach Gary Kellough felt his team lacked some focus at the free throw line. The Cavs missed eight straight shots from the line in the third quarter which allowed the Tigers to stay in the game. "And that was one of the things we focused on in practice Thursday." said Kellough.
The experience factor came in to play for the Cavs when Circleville made a run to take the lead. Chillicothe tied the game at 45 and scored the game's final points off of defensive stops. Late in the season we had two or three close calls that makes you mentally tough... we shouldn't have been in that situation (Wednesday) but when you are you have to step up and make plays and with the smaller lineup our kids made the,"
Coverage on 1490 WBEX begins at 6:40pm Saturday. WKKJ (94.3 FM) will join the broadcast following the Piketon-Westfall game.
Chillicothe offering presale tickets Friday in the CHS Main Office from 1p-3p and from 3:30p-6p in the CHS Ticket Booth at Hatton Gym. Tickets are $5 cash only.
Cavalier fans are also being encouraged to wear white to the game.
See the Cavs-Circleville Photo Gallery
Thursday 02-24-2011 8:14pm ET
Click on photo to see the photo gallery by Dana Cousins/wbex.com
Cavs Escape with Semi-Final Win 48-45
Wednesday 02-23-2011 11:59pm ET
The #1 seed Chillicothe Cavaliers dodged an upset bullet fired by the Circleville Tigers Wednesday night for a 48-45 victory. After a quick start that included an early 13-point lead, both teams see-sawed with the lead from mid-way through the third quarter to the end.
With the game tied at 45-45 in the closing minute, the Cavs got a steal and Tyler Manion made a lay-up for a 47-45 lead at about :38 seconds remaining. After a Circleville miss, Jalen Ragland was fouled and made one of two free throws for a 48-45 lead. The Tigers missed two field goal attempts in the closing seconds.
Jalen Ragland led Chillicothe with 21 points. John Klinebrill led Circleville with 14 points while Riley Kiser had 12.
Chillicothe was 22/46 from the field for 47% and 6/16 at the foul line. Circleville was 15/33 from the field and 15/22 at the charity stripe.
The Cavs advance to the 7pm finals against Unioto at Southeastern High School.
Cavs Win Over Jackson 57-37, Outright SEOAL Title
Friday 02-18-2011 11:34pm ET
Generally, a coach might be happy with a 20 point win. Ecstatic even. And to win the SEOAL title outright.
Instead, following Chillicothe's 57-37 victory over Jackson, Coach Gary Kellough was the Cavs' worst critic.
"I could see it in last night in pratice, our kids. their minds just weren't focused on what we had to get done tonight.."
Jackson through a myriad of zone defenses to slow down the Cavalier attack, something Kellough thinks the Cavs will see alot of in the early portion of the post season. "It was good to face a zone tonight our kids got an opportunity to work in the seams and get some passing... we've got alot to work on..."
Jackson got on the board first, but unlike their first meeting this season, the closest part of the game was in the final minutes of the 1st period, tied at six. Jalen Ragland hit a three pointer at the buzzer to put a close on a 7-0 run and a 13-6 lead after 8 minutes.
Ragland finished with 28 points and was instrumental in a 9-3 run as the Cavs jumped ahead 26-14 at the half.
Chillicothe finished shooting 45% from the field, but were off to a cold start making just 5 of their first 15 shots.
Both team were fairly even on turnovers 15-16.
"We're gonna get everybody's best shot, but now we're on even ground. Everybody's zero-zero. We've got to be hungry, just as hungry as the other schools every time out, we know it could be our last opportunity."
The Cavs had their season cut short last February losing to Waverly 45-43 in the Sectional Final at Southeastern.
As Chillicothe begins tournament play next Wednesday, they could face the Jackson Ironmen for a third time. Jackson faces Circleville Monday night in the first round at Southeastern High School.
Rounding out the Cavs scoring, Ragland with 28, Malik London had 10 points, Zach Johnson added 8, Isaac Beverly 6, Tyler Manion 4 and Max Corcoran 1.
NOTES: It's the first time Chillicothe has cut down the nets for an SEOAL title at Hatton Gym. Their first was in the former Day of Champions over Zanesville at Logan. The second was at Zanesville... Coach Kellough was recognized before the game for his 100th victory with the Cavaliers this season.
Photos by Dana Cousins/wbex.com
Five Seniors to be Recognized Before Jackson
Friday 02-18-2011 3:19pm ET
For the third consecutive home game, there will be a special ceremony between the JV and Varsity Jackson-Chillicothe game.
After honoring the 1980-81 Regional Cavaliers and the memory of former Cavalier and coach Craig Hitchens, five Cavalier seniors will be recognized.
Making up the the Class of 2011 are guards Jalen Ragland, Tyler Manion and Max Corcoran, forward Isaac Beverly and post man Miloje Djacic, the exchange student from Serbia.
They'll take to the floor for a final time at Hatton Memorial Gymnasium. As three year varsity members, Beverly, Ragland and Manion are 23-4 at The Hatt and 31-7 overall in SEOAL games.
As the Cavs enter their game with Jackson 16-3 overall and 10-1 in the SEAOL, a victory would lock up an outright championship. Chillicothe earned a share of the title last Friday at Warren.
Jackson is coming off a 58-55 vicory over Unioto from Tuesday night. Back on January 14th, Chillicothe trailed the Ironmen at halftime, but used a third quarter rally to win by 15, 56-41.
The two clubs could meet again next week in the Division II Southeastern Sectional. Jackson plays Circleville at Southeastern Monday night with the winner facing Chillicothe Wednesday at 6:15pm.
PHOTO GALLERIES: Cavs vs Portsmouth/Pick Central
Thursday 02-17-2011 2:45pm ET
Click on the photo to see pictures by Dana Cousins/wbex.com
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