It was a big night for this early in the season for the Miami Trace Lady Panthers as they hosted one of their Frontier Athletic Conference rivals, Chillicothe, Saturday night, Dec. 2.
The Lady Cavaliers came out and really got after Miami Trace, but, in the end, it turned into a rout for the Lady Panthers, resulting in a 65-34 win in the first match-up between the two teams in the new conference.
Senior Tanner Bryant began the game with 992 career points.
Miami Trace did not look for Bryant right away on the offensive, end. Rather, they got the ball to junior Olivia Wolffe on three successive trips down the floor and Wolffe responded by hitting three buckets for an early 6-2 Miami Trace lead.
Bryant finished the game with 12 points. She reached the 1,000-point mark with the second of two free throws with 4:15 remaining to be played in the third quarter.
She was sitting on 998 career points when she picked up her third foul with 1:41 to play in the first half.
Sophomore Shay McDonald was the game’s leading scorer with 16 points.
After Bryant’s 12 points, senior Victoria Fliehman and junior Cassidy Lovett each added 11 points. Lovett led with seven steals.
Bryant had a double-double on the night with 11 rebounds.
Junior Tori Evans scored seven points, including one three-point field goal and Wolffe finished with six points.
Senior Morgan Miller was second for Miami Trace in rebounds with five.
Chillicothe sophomore Shawnice Smith led her team with 15 points.
Senior Shawnee Smith had seven points.
“I knew tonight would be an extremely emotional night for Tanner,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “Tanner knew, Chillicothe knew, everyone in the stands knew what she needed. We tried to use her as a decoy early. Olivia Wolffe had six points early.
“No one in the gym expected that, which is why we did that,” Ackley said. “We have kids who are capable of doing things. She (Wolffe) stepped up tonight and played a great game, defensively.
“Tanner has worked so hard,” Ackley said. “No one understands how much work Tanner put in over the summer. All our kids work hard. Tanner shot four or five hundred shots six days a week. She’s been in before school at six in the morning to shoot; she’s been in here on Sunday nights at eight o’clock to shoot. She puts the time in and does it the right way.
“As a coach, it’s very rewarding for me to see her be as successful as she has been,” Ackley said. “And to see her continue to grow as a person and as a player.”
Chillicothe never led in the game. The score was tied only once, at 2-2.
The Lady Panthers led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Chillicothe pulled to within two points (16-14) with 7:10 remaining in the second quarter.
They would draw no closer on this night.
When Evans hit a three-point basket late in the second quarter, it sent Miami Trace into the locker room with a 28-20 halftime lead.
McDonald scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the third quarter, helping Miami Trace pull away from Chillicothe.
With 4:15 to play in the third quarter, Bryant was fouled. She went to the line and hit a pair of free throws, giving her 1,000 for her career.
The horn sounded, announcing a stoppage in play while Bryant was given the ball, a commemorative sign and then joined by her parents, Kim and Mark, for a few quick photos before the game resumed.
The free throws gave Miami Trace a 42-22 lead.
At the end of the third quarter, Miami Trace was in control, 44-28.
The fourth quarter saw the Lady Panthers outscore Chillicothe by 15 points.
Miami Trace led by as many as 34 points before the Cavs hit a three-point basket to put the final at 65-34.
“I thought Chillicothe had great energy at the start,” Ackley said. “They always come out against us very strong. We’ve dug ourselves holes against them in the past.
“I thought tonight we did a good job of kind of plugging away and keeping it close,” Ackley said. “I think our pressure got to them and helped to wear them down as the game moved forward and we started making some shots.”
Miami Trace had a very good shooting night, making 24 of 48 field goal attempts for 50 percent. The Lady Panthers were 14 of 20 from the free throw line for 70 percent.
Chillicothe struggled from the field and at the line.
The Lady Cavaliers made 11 of 42 field goal attempts for 26 percent. At the line, Chillicothe sank just 8 of 27 throws for 30 percent.
“We had a lot of kids score the ball tonight,” Ackley said. “And that’s very important for us moving forward. Teams can’t just guard Tanner and Vic and leave others open.”
“In the first half, we were going toe-to-toe against them,” Chillicothe head coach Jeremy Beverly said. “In the second half, they came out and (beat) us. You can’t turn the ball over (24 times) against a good team like this.
“Miami Trace is a good team,” Beverly said. “They were in the State (Final Four) last year.”
Chillicothe (1-2 overall, 0-1 FAC) will host the Washington Lady Blue Lions Wednesday.
Miami Trace (3-0 overall, 1-0 FAC) will play at McClain (0-2 overall, 0-1 FAC) Wednesday with the j-v game beginning at 5:30 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 16 12 16 21 — 65
C 9 11 8 6 — 34
MIAMI TRACE — Olivia Wolffe 3-0-6; Cassidy Lovett 4-3-11; Becca Ratliff 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 7-2-16; Tori Evans 1 (1)-2-7; Olivia Fliehman 0-0-0; Victoria Fliehman 2 (2)-1-11; Tanner Bryant 3-6-12; Morgan Miller 1-0-2; Lena Steele 0-0-0. TOTALS — 21 (3)-14-65. Free throw shooting: 14 of 20 for 70 percent. Three-point field goals: V. Fliehman, 2; Evans. Combined field goal shooting: 24 of 48 for 50 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 15 for 20 percent. Turnovers: 17. Rebounds: 31 (7 offensive). Assists: 11. Steals: 12. Personal fouls: 19.
CHILLICOTHE — Zoe Ford 0-0-0; McKenzie Greene 1-0-2; Julia Hall 0 (1)-1-4; Meliah Johnson 0-2-2; Olivia Johnson 0-1-1; Shawnee Smith 1 (1)-2-7; Shawnice Smith 5 (1)-2-15; Hayden Price 0 (1)-0-3; Macie Graves 0-0-0; Daelyn Fry 0-0-0; Kaia Evans 0-0-0. TOTALS — 7 (4)-8-34. Free throw shooting: 8 of 27 for 30 percent. Three-point field goals: Hall, Smith, Smith, Price. Combined field goal shooting: 11 of 42 for 26 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 18 for 22 percent. Turnovers: 24. Offensive rebounds: 11.
Chillicothe wins j-v game vs Miami Trace
In Saturday’s junior-varsity contest, Chillicothe defeated Miami Trace, 30-25.
Aubrey Schwartz was the game’s leading scorer for Miami Trace with 11 points. She hit three three-point field goals.
Gracee Stewart scored seven for Miami Trace, Aubrey McCoy hit one three-pointer for three points and Magarah Boom and Aubrey Wood both added two points.
Zoe Ford led Chillicothe with nine points.
Macie Graves scored seven points, Hayden Price and Alysia Cunningham both had five points, Aries Barnes scored three points and Olivia Johnson scored one.