In a key Class 5A, District 7 matchup on Tuesday, Chamberlain (10-3) overcame an early Gaither lead to turn back the Cowboys, 57-42.
Chamberlain (10-3 overall, 1-2 district) jumped to an early 9-2 lead on James Devlin's first of two four-point plays. The Cowboys (5-6, 1-2) pulled within 9-8 as the quarter ended.
In the second quarter, Gaither's Chris Bonner scored eight of his 10 first-half points to key a 14-2 run, allowing Gaither to pull ahead 19-11.
"That's when we should have taken control of the game," Gaither coach Dwayne Olinger said. "That's when we had the momentum, but we just couldn't get it done."
Chamberlain then used a 13-3 run to take a 28-22 halftime lead. Devlin had 17 of his game-high 25 points by the break.
In the second half, two incidents altered the course of play. At 1:30 into the third quarter, Bonner, who had received a technical in the first half, got his second and an ejection for hanging on the rim for dunking on a fast break.
With his departure, Gaither's scoring, defense, and rebounding suffered. The Cowboys fell behind and never seriously threatened again.
Shortly after Bonner's departure, Chamberlain coach Doug Aplin sat Devlin down when the county's leading scorer was hit with a technical. Devlin never returned to the game.
"I knew that decision could backfire on us and we might lose the game," Aplin said. "But our rule is, there are no technicals called on Chamberlain players, period."
Jet Steele with 12 points and Kyle Newell with 10 stepped up and led a fourth quarter Chamberlain attack that put the game away.