ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — It’s tough to compete with offense like that.
The Chillicothe boys basketball team shot 62.8 percent from the field including 47.4 percent from three-point range in the opening three quarters on Tuesday night in Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, as the visiting Cavaliers cruised to a 77-52 victory over non-conference host Meigs.
The Marauders (8-13) — who had won four straight non-conference games prior to Tuesday — surrendered the first eight points of the game and trailed 28-15 by the end of the first quarter.
Chillicothe (16-5) began the second quarter with an 18-to-4 run, but Meigs scored six unanswered points to end the half, trimming the CHS lead to 46-25.
The guests hit back-to-back three-pointers to start the second half, and then with 4:05 left in the third, Chillicothe guard Brenden Maughmer surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career, sinking a two-pointer off of an assist by Jason Benson.
The Cavaliers stretched their lead to a game-high 43 points in the third quarter, but Meigs junior Zach Bartrum hit a buzzer-beater from half court to make the CHS lead 72-32 at the end of the period.
Meigs ended the game with a 20-to-5 run, making the final margin 77-52 in favor of the guests.
“Their speed was a big thing,” MHS head coach Ed Fry said. “We had a lot of turnovers by our guards, who usually do pretty good against pressure. Passes that usually get through against some of our opponents weren’t getting through tonight.
“That quickness and foot speed makes a big difference, we just have to learn to react to that. They’re young, they’re going to advance through the tournament hopefully in the next few years, and you’re going to run into that kind of speed. You just have to learn how to adjust your game to it.”
For the game, Meigs shot 19-of-49 (38.8 percent) from the field, including 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
After 27 makes in 43 chances in the first 24 minutes of the game, CHS shot 2-of-17 from the field in the fourth quarter and finished with a field goal percentage of 48.3 percent. The Cavaliers made just one of their last eight three-point tries and finished with a 10-of-27 (37 percent) three-point shooting rate.
Meigs and Chillicothe both tried 10 free throws, with the host making eight and the guests sinking nine.
Both teams grabbed 17 defensive rebounds in the contest, with the Maroon and Gold grabbing a narrow 11-to-10 edge in offensive boards. The Marauders turned the ball over 23 times, 13 more than the Cavaliers, with Chillicothe claiming a 15-to-4 advantage in steals.
The guests claimed all-4 of the game’s blocked shots, while holding a 20-to-9 advantage in assists.
MHS sophomore Weston Baer hit 10 field goals, including four three-pointers, on his way to a team-best 27 points. Bartrum hit one triple and recorded 14 points, to go with team-highs of eight rebounds and three assists.
Bobby Musser had four points and six rebounds in the setback, while Austin Mahr scored three points on a trifecta. Nick Lilly and Wyatt Hoover rounded out the MHS scoring with two points apiece. Baer also led the Marauder defense with a pair of steals.
Branden Maughmer made 11 field goals, including a trio of three-pointers, en route to a game-high 28 points for CHS. Maughmer also recorded team-bests of six rebounds and five steals. Simon Roderick posted 15 points and five assists for the guests, while Jayvon Maughmer hit four three-pointers and finished with 12 points.
Chris Postage made two triples and contributed 10 points to the Cavalier cause, while Brandon Noel and Will Roderick chipped in with five points apiece, with Noel adding five rebounds and a pair of rejections. Benson rounded out the winning total with two points.
The Marauders wrap up their regular season on Friday when they host River Valley in Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division play.
“We look back and that’s one we should have never lost,” Fry said of the Raiders. “We have a whole different group of personnel now and I think these kids are going to respond. We challenged them in the locker room after the game to get their mind right and get on this thing Friday night to finish out strong.”
RVHS defeated Meigs 46-45 on a buzzer-beater in Bidwell on Dec. 15.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.