Panthers win McDonald’s title


By Chris Hoppes - choppes@aimmediamidwest.com



2017 McDONALD’S HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS, MIAMI TRACE PANTHERS — Miami Trace won the tournament, sponsored annually by Nick Epifano, owner and operator of McDonald’s of Fayette County and Jamestown, with a 58-53 victory over the Greeneview Rams Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 at the Panther Pit. (front, l-r); Abbi Pettit, Katie Chaney, Brooke Heinz, Abby Riley, Khenadi Grubb, Alyssa Griggs; (middle, l-r); assistant coach Carlos Roberts, Austin Mathews, Brett Lewis, Heath Cockerill, Cameron Carter, Dillon Coe, Matt Fender, Darby Tyree, Dakota Bolton and assistant coach Tracy Tyree; (back, l-r); Wyatt Cory, Jacob Atwood, Adam Ginn, Austin Brown and assistant coach Cory Patton. Not pictured: head coach Rob Pittser.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace senior Matt Fender has the ball under the basket, guarded by Greeneview junior Nick Clevenger during the championship of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 at the Panther Pit on the campus of Miami Trace High School.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

2017 McDONALD’S ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM — (l-r); Stuart Weyrich, London; Spencer Ruzicka, Madison Plains; Gabe Caudill and Mason Schneider, Greeneview; Cameron Carter and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Darby Tyree, of Miami Trace.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

The Miami Trace Panthers wrapped up the 2017 portion of their schedule by winning the annual McDonald’s Holiday Tournament, 58-53 over the Greeneview Rams Saturday night, Dec. 30.

Senior Cameron Carter poured in 27 points to lead all scorers. Carter went 10 of 10 from the free throw line. Overall, the Panthers were 15 of 15 from the line, which helped provided the margin of difference in the game.

Carter was named to the all-tournament team.

Senior Darby Tyree scored 22 points and led the Panthers with seven rebounds. Tyree was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Rams’ sophomore Gabe Caudill scored 18 points and had five rebounds. He was named to the all-tournament team.

As was senior Mason Schneider, who scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for a double-double. Five of his rebounds were on the offensive glass.

Junior Collin Wilson and junior Nick Clevenger each scored nine points for the Rams and junior Ian Tamplin scored three.

Also scoring for the Panthers were junior Austin Brown with four (Brown also had six rebounds and blocked one shot); senior Heath Cockerill scored three and senior Brett Lewis had two points.

In Saturday’s consolation game, London defeated Madison Plains, 53-42.

Madison Plains junior Spencer Ruzicka and London senior Stuart Weyrich were also selected to the all-tournament team.

Miami Trace threatened to blow the championship game wide open as they charged out to a 15-2 lead with two minutes remaining in the first period.

At the end of one complete, Miami Trace held a 17-6 lead over Greeneview.

The Panthers maintained a lead in the eight to 10-point range throughout the second quarter.

By the time the half was complete, the Panthers were in front, 25-17.

“We were very pleased with the start, both offensively and defensively,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “We got some stops there to start the game and scored the ball really well, which was pleasing to see.

“Foul trouble hurt us a little there in the first half,” Pittser said. “We had to go away from some of the things that were good to us. We had three kids with two fouls. We were trying to get to halftime without Cameron and Darby picking up a third foul.”

Far from finished, the Rams had apparently just begun to fight.

A 9-0 run by Greeneview pulled the Rams into a one-point lead, 32-31, with 1:56 to play in the third quarter.

The lead changed hands four more times in the final moments of the third with the Rams holding on to a 37-36 lead with eight minutes remaining.

The teams continued to swap the lead as the fourth quarter unfolded.

Greeneview led 43-39 with 6:11 to play in the game.

Carter then scored the next eight points for the Panthers to put Miami Trace back into the lead, 47-45 with 4:37 to play.

Carter tied the game with another pair of free throws, 49-49, with 2:18 left in the game.

Cockerill sank his only basket of the game, but it was a big one, a three-pointer with 1:46 to play that lifted Miami Trace ahead of Greeneview, 52-49.

The Panthers continued their perfect run at the free throw line.

Brown hit two free throws and then, after a Rams’ turnover, Carter sank two more to give Miami Trace a 56-50 lead.

Caudill hit a three for the Ram to make it 56-53 with 24.6 seconds remaining.

The Panthers called a time out, but then turned the ball over.

The Rams missed a shot, but got the rebound and a player was fouled attempting a three-point shot to tie the game.

With four seconds remaining, Greeneview went to the line with three free throws for another chance to tie the game.

The player missed all three free throws and Tyree got the rebound and was fouled.

He went to the line and finished the Panthers’ perfect night at the line, making both shots for the final, 58-53.

“They battled back and got back into it, as Greeneview teams always do,” Pittser said. “It was good to see our kids keep their composure when we lost the lead in the fourth quarter. We came right back and got some buckets.

“We had huge nights from Darby and Cameron,” Pittser said. “Really, all of our kids contributed. We were very pleased to win the last McDonald’s Holiday Tournament in this gymnasium. We’re in a good place now going forward at the turn of the year.

“We appreciate everything Mr. (Nick) Epifano has done, not only for basketball, but, in the community, with the football game with Court House,” Pittser said. “The funds and the time and effort he puts back into the programs for young people here in Fayette County, it’s a really, really big deal.”

“The way our kids have battled, we’ve done this all year,” Greeneview head coach Kyle Fulk said. “We kind of fall behind, then we battle back and make some runs. Then we just haven’t been able to make enough plays at the end, or I haven’t put the guys in the right situations to make plays at the end.

“It’s encouraging that they didn’t give up and that they kept battling and did a good job,” Fulk said. “It’s disappointing that we couldn’t get the ‘W’. I felt like we were in a great spot in the fourth quarter and things just didn’t go our way.”

Greeneview (now 4-5 overall) will host West Jefferson Friday in an Ohio Heritage Conference match-up.

Miami Trace (now 6-5 overall) will host former SCOL opponent Clinton-Massie Wednesday with the freshman game starting at 4:45 p.m.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

MT 17 8 11 22 — 58

JG 6 11 20 16 — 53

MIAMI TRACE — Cameron Carter 7 (1)-10-27; Darby Tyree 8 (1)-3-22; Austin Brown 1-2-4; Heath Cockerill 0 (1)-0-3; Brett Lewis 1-0-2; Austin Mathews 0-0-0; Matt Fender 0-0-0. TOTALS — 17 (3)-15-58. Free throw shooting: 15 of 15 for 100 percent. Three-point field goals: Carter, Tyree, Cockerill. Combined field goal shooting: 20 of 47 for 42 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 14 for 21 percent. Rebounds: 16 (5 offensive). Assists: 11. Steals: 10. Blocks: 1. Turnovers: 13. Personal fouls: 14. Bench points: 0. Second chance points: 8. Points off turnovers: 7.

GREENEVIEW — Gabe Caudill 5 (2)-2-18; Mason Schneider 6-2-14; Collin Wilson 4-1-9; Nick Clevenger 4-1-9; Ian Tamplin 0 (1)-0-3; Jack Nix 0-0-0; Cam Treadway 0-0-0. TOTALS — 19 (3)-6-53. Free throw shooting: 6 of 11 for 54 percent. Three-point field goals: Caudill, 2; Tamplin. Combined field goal shooting: 22 of 50 for 44 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 17 for 17 percent. Rebounds: 31 (10 offensive). Assists: 10. Steals: 7. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 18. Personal fouls: 16. Bench points: 9. Second chance points: 12. Points off turnovers: 2.

2017 McDONALD’S HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS, MIAMI TRACE PANTHERS — Miami Trace won the tournament, sponsored annually by Nick Epifano, owner and operator of McDonald’s of Fayette County and Jamestown, with a 58-53 victory over the Greeneview Rams Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 at the Panther Pit. (front, l-r); Abbi Pettit, Katie Chaney, Brooke Heinz, Abby Riley, Khenadi Grubb, Alyssa Griggs; (middle, l-r); assistant coach Carlos Roberts, Austin Mathews, Brett Lewis, Heath Cockerill, Cameron Carter, Dillon Coe, Matt Fender, Darby Tyree, Dakota Bolton and assistant coach Tracy Tyree; (back, l-r); Wyatt Cory, Jacob Atwood, Adam Ginn, Austin Brown and assistant coach Cory Patton. Not pictured: head coach Rob Pittser.
http://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/01/web1_MT-boys-win-2017-Holiday-Tournament.jpg2017 McDONALD’S HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS, MIAMI TRACE PANTHERS — Miami Trace won the tournament, sponsored annually by Nick Epifano, owner and operator of McDonald’s of Fayette County and Jamestown, with a 58-53 victory over the Greeneview Rams Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 at the Panther Pit. (front, l-r); Abbi Pettit, Katie Chaney, Brooke Heinz, Abby Riley, Khenadi Grubb, Alyssa Griggs; (middle, l-r); assistant coach Carlos Roberts, Austin Mathews, Brett Lewis, Heath Cockerill, Cameron Carter, Dillon Coe, Matt Fender, Darby Tyree, Dakota Bolton and assistant coach Tracy Tyree; (back, l-r); Wyatt Cory, Jacob Atwood, Adam Ginn, Austin Brown and assistant coach Cory Patton. Not pictured: head coach Rob Pittser. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace senior Matt Fender has the ball under the basket, guarded by Greeneview junior Nick Clevenger during the championship of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 at the Panther Pit on the campus of Miami Trace High School.
http://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/01/web1_MT-Matt-Fender-2017.jpgMiami Trace senior Matt Fender has the ball under the basket, guarded by Greeneview junior Nick Clevenger during the championship of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 at the Panther Pit on the campus of Miami Trace High School. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

2017 McDONALD’S ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM — (l-r); Stuart Weyrich, London; Spencer Ruzicka, Madison Plains; Gabe Caudill and Mason Schneider, Greeneview; Cameron Carter and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Darby Tyree, of Miami Trace.
http://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/01/web1_McDonalds-boys-all-tournament-team-2017.jpg2017 McDONALD’S ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM — (l-r); Stuart Weyrich, London; Spencer Ruzicka, Madison Plains; Gabe Caudill and Mason Schneider, Greeneview; Cameron Carter and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Darby Tyree, of Miami Trace. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

By Chris Hoppes

choppes@aimmediamidwest.com