WILMINGTON — In an early season South Central Ohio League showdown, Miami Trace outlasted Wilmington 52-37 Wednesday at Fred Summers Court.
“Our kids were pretty excited,” Miami Trace coach Ben Ackley said. “We knew this would be a tough environment. We played two close games last year that could have went either way.”
Said WHS head coach Zach Williams, “This was a big game.”
And the Lady Panthers were ready with a deft touch when eyeing the basket. Miami Trace was 15 for 32 from the floor, including 8 of 15 behind the arc.
“That’s been a struggle for this group early in the season, shooting the ball,” Ackley said. “Tonight, I think we made the extra pass and found the open person.”
Conversely, Wilmington was just 13 for 49 overall and 4 of 16 from three-point range.
“Four of 16 is not going to get it done,” Williams said. “We took a lot of bad shots against their zone. That’s on me. We didn’t do enough attacking (the basket).”
The Miami Trace 1-2 punch of Victoria Fliehman (15 points) and Tanner Bryant (14 points) were a combined 8 for 13 shooting — 5 of 8 beyond the arc. Bryant had 11 rebounds and both players handed out four assists.
“We knew they were good shooters, good skilled girls,” Williams said.
For Wilmington, Mya Jackson had 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
“She’s one of the best guards I’ve ever coached against,” Ackley admitted.
Miami Trace led 6-2 midway through the first quarter but Wilmington put five unanswered points on the board, with Leah Frisco getting a pair of baskets. Early in the second, the Lady Hurricane led 7-6.
But Hanna Reisinger hit a three at 5:36 to give Miami Trace a 9-7 lead. Fliehman, who had two fouls in the first quarter, came back out in the second and found her shooting touch. The former WHS student-athlete, had a pair of three-pointers and eight points in the quarter as the Lady Panthers went up 15-12.
Faith Sanderson hit a three-pointer, assist to Frisco, that tied the game at 15-15. Trace, though, reeled off the final five points of the half and led 20-15 at the intermission.
In the third, WHS pulled within 25-23 on Tanner Stewart’s old-fashioned three-point play at 5:21 but Miami Trace responded with five straight points and a 30-25 advantage. Fliehman’s three and then her two made it 35-28 Trace as the third quarter closed.
In the fourth, the Lady Panthers pushed the lead to 10, thanks to a couple of assists by Fliehman — one to Ritenour and one to Reisinger. Wilmington’s offense was never in sync against the Trace defense to make a serious threat down the stretch.
For Wilmington, that’s tough hard-fought losses to a pair of pretty good teams, Williams said, noting the loss to Chaminade-Julienne on Monday.
“It’s more of what we’re not doing than what the other team is doing to us,” the WHS coach said. “But our girls didn’t quit. We can work with fight and that’s what we want to be, a gritty, tough team. These tough losses early will make us a good team in the end.”
Wilmington is now 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the SCOL. Miami Trace is 4-0 in all games and 2-0 in league play.
Wilmington hosts East Clinton Saturday at 1 p.m. and Miami Trace returns home to take on Hillsboro at 5:30 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 6 14 15 17 — 52
W 5 10 13 9 — 37
(52) MIAMI TRACE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lovett 2-0-2-6 Ratliff 0-0-0-0 Reisinger 3-3-0-9 McDonald 0-0-3-3 Miller 0-0-0-0 Fliehman 4-3-4-15 Bryant 4-2-4-14 Ritenour 2-0-1-5. TOTALS 15-8-14-52. Field goal shooting: 15 of 32 for 47 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 8 of 15 for 53 percent. Free throw shooting: 14 of 17 for 82 percent. Rebounds: 31. Three-point field goals: Fliehman, 3; Reisinger, 3; Bryant, 2. Assists: 11. Steals: 6 (Ritenour, 3). Blocked shots: 4 (Ritenour, 2). Turnovers: 13.
(37) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) J. Jamiel 2-1-1-6 Jackson 4-1-5-14 Quallen 0-0-0-0 Sanderson 2-2-0-6 K. Jamiel 1-0-0-2 Edingfield 0-0-0-0 Stewart 1-0-1-3 Frisco 3-0-0-6. TOTALS 13-4-7-37. Field goal shooting: 13 of 49 for 27 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 18 for 22 percent. Free throw shooting: 7 of 13 for 54 percent. Rebounds: 26. Assists: 8. Steals: 5. Blocked shots: 0. Turnovers: 11.