GREENFIELD — It was a cold night outside and in for the McClain Tigers, who took a chilling 55-36 loss to the Miami Trace Panthers Friday night after an aggressive contest that had the stands roaring.
Both teams fought hard the entire game, but McClain’s offense wasn’t enough to stand up to the Panthers’ pressure.
The Panthers had three players in double figures, led by senior DeAndre Pettiford with 16 points.
Junior Cameron Carter scored 13 and senior Tyrae Pettiford added 10.
Jacob Starkey put up four of McClain’s six points for the quarter while Miami Trace sunk four 2-pointers and two swishes from the free throw line to take the first quarter score to 6-4.
Miami Trace kicked into gear in the second quarter, scoring 15 against McClain’s seven-point gain.
At the half, Miami Trace was in front, 25-13.
The third quarter saw McClain roar back into action when Dalton Mischal crushed a 2-pointer and a long 3 in the last three minutes, adding to a 5-point gain from O’Connor and Brock Dean. Starkey pushed in a 2-pointer, and Mat Barton took a 3-pointer with 1:33 on the clock.
The Tigers showed some impressive teamwork when O’Connor rebounded a missed shot from Mischal, adding 2 points at the buzzer and slimming the Panthers’ lead to 9 points at 39-30 for the quarter.
Whatever hopes McClain had for a win were dashed in the fourth quarter when the Panthers went on a long scoring streak, keeping the Tigers at only 6 points for the quarter while scoring 16 for themselves.
When the clock ran out, the scoreboard read 55-36 with the guests driving home with the win.
“I thought we played scared,” said McClain head coach Jesse Mitchell. “I think that was the biggest factor. Miami Trace’s speed was evident and our new guys just didn’t adjust to it well.”
“We got a lot of good stuff out of our pressure, especially when we went from trying to trap early in the back court to a half-court type of style,” said Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser. “We had a couple seniors really step up, and fortunately we were able to bring up the lead.”
The Tigers, now 4-8 overall, 2-3 in the SCOL, will challenge the Fairfield Lions at home tonight at 7:45 p.m.
Miami Trace remains atop the SCOL standings at 5-0, one game ahead of Washington and Wilmington.
The Panthers (9-2 overall) will continue play with an SCOL game at home Tuesday against East Clinton. The freshman game is at 4:45 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 10 15 14 16 — 55
Mc 6 7 17 6 — 36
MIAMI TRACE — D. Pettiford 6-4/5-16; Carter 1(2)-3/3-13; T. Pettiford 4-2/4-10; Creamer 1-2; Leach 1/2-1; Pittser 2(1)-7; Bryant 1-2; Tyree 2-4. Totals: 17(3)-10/15-55
McCLAIN — Duncan (1)-3; O’Connor 3-2/4-8; Dean (1)-3; Starkey 4-8; Barton (1)-4/6-7; Mischal 1(1)-5; Gray 1-0/2-2. Totals: 9(4)-6/12-36
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @SportsWrighter.