The Cavaliers had difficulty overcoming the numbers Grove City presented in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
The Greyhounds earned a 78-53 win to advance to the championship game of their inaugural Grove City Tip-Off Classic Saturday night against OCC foe, Westland.
“We had some depth issues” said Drew Meister following his first game at the helm of the Cavs Boys Basketball program. “We didn’t have that multi-dimensional offensive player against their defense, we needed that.”
Chillicothe was playing without senior guard Adam Bixler who’s nursing an ankle injury. His absence forced some of the younger Cavaliers to get some experience under fire.
The Cavs made a couple of runs to stay close in the first half. Chillicothe fell behind 15-9 but managed to tie the game, then trailed 29-18 only to rally back to 31-29 but watched the Greyhounds close out the half with a 42-33 deficit.
“Initially I thought we did a good job of that and we were very cognizant of what their (Grove City) mentality was.” But then, the Dawgs started to pull away.
Grove City dominated the middle quarters to outscoring Chillicothe 47-30 (21-16 in the 2nd and 26-14 in the 3rd).
Despite the loss, Meister said he was proud of his team’s coach-ability down the stretch of the game when the game was out of hand. “There’s a team right there in Grove City… those guys go to war for an extended period of time because they have those numbers and they demand it of each other.” In looking to the immediate future, Meister hopes his Cavaliers were paying attention, “when we begin to sniff that out and really buy into that, then you’re gonna see those similar ways at our level.”
Zach Johnson led all scorers with 28 points and Nolan Taylor added 11 points for Chillicothe.
The Cavs (0-1) will return to Grove City to face Brunswick (0-1) in the consolation match Saturday night at 6:00pm. The Blue Devils fell to Westland 61-57 in overtime in the opening match Friday. Hear the game following the Buckeyes on 1490 WBEX and 92.7 FM.