By Dan Ramey
To say the Cavs were focused Tuesday night, is an understatement.
Last February, Unioto ended the Chillicothe's Boys Basketball season in the Division 2 Southeast Sectional Final, 48-42. The Cavs gained revenge with a 74-48 thumping on the Shermans' home court.
"That's the last thing we talked about on our way out the locker room" said Cavs Coach Eric Huffer. "We put that on our scoreboard all spring, all summer and all fall, all winter. So, yeah, we wanted it."
It was by no means a performance of perfection by the Cavaliers, but it was close enough. It was the kind of night Huffer had been waiting all season to see.
"I told our guys, if you play like that every night, you'll not have too many teams beat you. That's what I saw all spring and summer." Huffer added that at times this season it "hasn't been easy, but I'm real proud of them."
The Cavs dropped in 34-of-51 from the field and 3-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Unioto struggled from outside making just 15% from three-point range. The early success for the Shermans was inside with Peyton Hill making five-of-six field goals in the first half. Hill and Gavin Ogan combined for 18 of Unioto's 28 points by the break.
Chillicothe built a 31-15 lead before the Shermans closed the gap to seven at halftime 35-28.
"They (Chillicothe) played really well tonight" said Shermans Coach Matt Hoops. "They forced us into some thing we're not use to doing and we could just never get comfortable."
The Cavs' Branden Maughmer (25 points) and Seth Barnes (22 points) fed off one another slashing to the basket and getting the job done from inside and out, making 10-of-11 in the first half and 12-of-16 in the second half.
"We've seen them play tons of times they didn't shoot the ball that well" said Hoops. "Credit to them, they stepped up and shot when they had to and they made it and it was tough for us to play from behind all night long."
The Shermans gave it another run to cut the deficit to 49-40 to close out the third period, but Chillicothe went on an 11-0 run and on a three-point play by Maughmer the Cavs had put the game away with 4:29 remaining.
Chillicothe (13-8) closes out Rivalry Week and the regular season Friday at Wilmington. Unioto (16-5) plays for a Gold Ball Friday at Zane Trace.
CHILLICOTHE (74): Branden Maughmer, 25; Seth Barnes 22, Will Roderick, 8; Hunter Coffland, 6; Jordan Johnson, 5; Simon Roderick, 4; Jayvon Maughmer, 2; Jason Benson, 2;, Khaleel Danzy, 0.
UNITOTO (48): Peyton Hill, 17; Branden Kennedy, 13; Gavin Ogan, 6; Casey White, 4; Logan Swackhammer, 4; Clay Edler, 2; Tre Ivey 2.