SOSA Staff Report
ATHENS — Surviving and advancing. It’s an overused cliche but that’s exactly what Zane Trace had to do Sunday night to move on.
With a 49-41 lead over Adena late in the fourth quarter, Zane Trace allowed the Warriors to rip off a 7-0 run. But after seeing an eight-point lead virtually disappear within seconds, the Pioneers sent Colby Swain to the free throw line with 13.2 seconds left.
And Swain did what a senior is supposed to do … sealed a 51-48 win before getting back to play defense and denying the Warriors a quality look at the bucket in an attempt to send the game into overtime.
Adena’s Cade McKee drilled an elbow jumper to give Adena a 12-9 lead after the first quarter, a quarter where the Warriors managed to take ZT’s Cam Evans out of the game.
However, Evans is the reigning two-time SVC Player of the Year for a reason.
With the Pioneers trailing 12-11, Evans scored the next seven points, capping the individual run with a signature spin move inside the paint for a layup.
That sequence forced Adena to call timeout trailing 18-11.
Evans’ next shot capped a 9-0 personal run to give the Pioneers their biggest lead of the game before later controlling a 26-19 lead at the half.
While Zane Trace continued to stay the course early in the third, Adena’s Logan Bennett kicked himself into second gear.
After burying a triple, he grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast while spitting three defenders near the bucket for a score that trimmed the Pioneers’ lead to 32-30 late in the third quarter.
However, Zane Trace responded with an 8-0 run to end the quarter and take a 40-30 advantage into the final eight minutes. The Warriors threw a counter punch, beginning the fourth on a 6-0 run, capped by a triple from Bennett, cutting the lead to 40-36.
But Nesser and Evans combined to score six of the next eight Pioneer points, extending the lead to 46-41 with three minutes left. That led to the Warriors’ ensuing 7-0 run, aided by 3-point field goals from McKee and Jarrett Garrison, and Swain’s two game-clinching free throws.
Nesser led the Pioneers with 17 points and seven rebounds while Evans finished the night with 15 points and eight boards.
Bennett led all scorers with 19 points and seven rebounds while Nate Throckmorton had eight points and four assists.
The Pioneers advance to play either Eastern Brown or Ironton at 8:15 p.m., Friday at Ohio University, while the Warriors end their season at 16-9.