Despite cutting a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to five in the final minutes, the Red Devils were ultimately undone by a 41-point effort from Malden sophomore Cortez Dobbins as the Green Wave held on for a 67-57 win.
"We started off playing scared," Chaffee head coach Josh Govreau said. "It wasn't anything like what I've seen the last month and it kind of took me by surprise to see how they showed up and acted like they were timid and scared.
"It took us awhile to settle down, but once we did I thought we played better in the second half."
After trailing by as much as 14 points in the early stages of the second half, the Red Devils were able to put a couple of small runs together to cut their deficit down to eight in the final minutes of the third quarter.
Before Chaffee could finish their comeback, however, the Green Wave went on to score 10 of the final 12 in the quarter to pull ahead 49-33 entering the fourth.
A free throw from Edwin Hale to start the final frame gave Malden its biggest lead of the night, at 17 points, before the Red Devils started one final push to stay in the game.
Still trailing 60-45 with 4:07 to play, Chaffee started a dominant two minute run with a pair of free throws from Peyton Montgomery.
Leading scorer Charlie Mongomery fouled out soon after, but that didn't stop the Red Devils from scoring 10-straight points to close back to within five on a put-back from Layton Tenkhoff.
A Malden timeout with 2:30 remaining seemed to regroup the Green Wave and with the help of a few empty possessions by Chaffee, they pulled out to a 64-56 lead with only a minute left.
The Red Devils launched four unsuccessful 3-pointers in the final minute as they tried to catch up while the Green Wave sunk four of their final eight free throws to close out the win.
"I had to call them in and we adjusted," Malden head coach Yevgeny Sokolov said. "We had to quit throwing the ball away so quickly. I told them to slow down and they finally did slow it down.
"A couple of our starters fouling out didn't help, but the guys hung on."
Dobbins started his season in a big way, scoring 41 points to easily lead Malden's effort. He scored 25 points in the second half alone and was particularly adept at the free throw line, going 13 of 15 on the game.
"He's been a good free throw shooter since last year," said Sokolov.
With a strong second half effort, Peyton Montgomery led Chaffee with 19 points on the night. All but four of his points came in the final two quarters.
Despite missing the second half of the fourth quarter after fouling out, Charlie Mongomery finished second on the team with 18 points and went 6 of 7 from the line.
"We prepared for them," Peyton Montgomery said. "I just think we came out a little flat and weren't mentally focused.
"We kept playing hard. Our shots were good, but wouldn't fall."
Added Charlie Montgomery, "We crashed the boards fairly well, but we need to get it down low a little bit more.
"If we get it down low, then those outside shots will fall."
With the loss, the Red Devils find themselves in the consolation bracket, where they will play Bell City in the semifinals at 5 p.m.
Malden moves on the play top-seeded Scott Central on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
MALDEN (67) -- Malik Perkins 2, Dajuan Criglar 9, Kevin Farr 2, Gunner Jones 6, Jeremy Jones 4, Edwin Hale 1, Cortez Dobbins 41, Romello McCoy 2. FG 23, FT 20-31, F 24. (3-pointers: Criglar 1. Fouled out: McCoy, Jones, Perkins.)
CHAFFEE (57) -- Peyton Montgomery 19, Cody Johnson 2, Layton Tenkhoff 7, Jimmy Golden 4, Tyler Golden 5, Charlie Montgomery 18, Trevor Morehead 2. FG 21, FT 15-26, F 24. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Charlie Montgomery.)
ORAN -- Rebounding from their quarterfinal loss to Advance, the Kelly Hawks secured a spot in the consolation bracket championship game with a 59-45 win over Richland.
Senior Brent Forck had 16 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead Kelly while junior Gaven Ray pitched in 15.
Junior Derrick Garner was third and final Hawk to post double-digit scoring totals. He hit three 3-pointers on the night, accounting for the majority of his 10 points.
As a team, Kelly connected on eight shots from behind the arc.
Outscoring the Rebels in each of the first two quarters, Kelly was able to build a 28-18 lead going into halftime. They'd outscored Richland 18-7 in the third quarter to build a 21-point advantage going into the final frame.
The Rebels broke out for 20 points in the final frame, but never cut their deficit into the single-digits.
Marcus Greyson, a sophomore, led Richland with 12 points and Jesse Barnes kicked in 11.
RICHLAND (45) -- Skylar Harper 6, Jesse Barnes 11, Nick Daniels 8, Marcus Grayson 12, Tyler Jacobs 8. FG 18, FT 6-11, F 17. (3-pointers: Harper 1, Barnes 1, Daniels 1. Fouled out: Daniels.)
KELLY (59) -- Gaven Ray 15, Austin Waddlington 2, Anthony Klunk 1, Trey Walker 4, Brent Forck 16, Josh Roberts 2, Derrick Garner 10, Gabe Felter 9. FG 20, FT 11-20, F 17. (3-pointers: Ray 1, Walker 1, Forck 3, Garner 3. Fouled out: none.)