In the words of one of Warner Brothers timeless cartoon characters, “That’s all folks.”
The Lady Panthers had the bittersweet honor of playing the final-ever basketball game in the Panther Pit gymnasium at Miami Trace High School Thursday night, a non-conference game against the Fairfield Union Falcons.
Miami Trace got off to a very fast start and dominated for a 72-41 victory.
The Lady Panthers are now 18-3 with a game Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Washington High School.
Sophomore Shay McDonald was the game’s leading scorer for Miami Trace with 19 points (including five three-point field goals).
Senior Tanner Bryant scored 18 (including two threes) and junior Cassidy Lovett had 15 points.
Bryant had a double-double with 11 rebounds. Lovett led with four assists and seven steals.
Miami Trace led 14-2, 17-3 and 20-5 on their way to a 24-8 first quarter.
The Lady Panthers twice led by as many as 24 points in the second quarter before taking a 34-12 lead into the locker room at the half.
Miami Trace substituted quite often in this game, getting all the players who were available into the game.
The Lady Panthers led at one point by 27 in the third quarter.
After three complete, Miami Trace was in front, 50-24.
The Lady Panthers held a 35-point lead with just over one minute to go in the game.
Tori Evans scored the final Miami Trace basket and Gracee Stewart hit the final two free throws for Miami Trace in the Panther Pit.
Fairfield Union scored the final four points in the Pit to set the ending score at 72-41.
“It’s quite an honor to be a part of the last game ever to be played in the Pit,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “All the memories, all the prestige, all the history; very blessed and humbled to be a part of the last game that’ll ever be played in here.
“I thought our kids played hard,” Ackley said. “They represented our school very well tonight. We shot the ball well early. I thought our energy was good, I thought our defense was good.
“We still have some things to clean up,” Ackley said. “We still have a long way to go. I thought our younger kids who got some minutes tonight really stepped up.
“I’m glad we got to send everyone out with a win tonight,” Ackley said.
Miami Trace (9-0 in the FAC) will play at Washington (8-1) Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A win by Miami Trace will give the Lady Panthers an outright Frontier Athletic Conference title. A win by Washington (sporting a record of 19-2) will mean a co-championship in the first year of the FAC. It promises to be an exciting afternoon and evening of Fayette County basketball at WHS.
“Record-wise, they are the best team around here,” Ackley said of the Lady Lions. “We are going to have our hands full going into their house. They’ll be ready for us. All we can do is come out and try to compete and see how the chips fall at the end. They are very talented.”
The j-v boys play first at 3 p.m., followed by the j-v girls at 4:30 p.m.
The varsity boys play at 6 p.m. and the varsity girls play at 7:30 p.m. The starting times for the second, third and fourth games are approximate.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 24 10 16 22 — 72
FU 8 4 12 17 — 41
MIAMI TRACE — Olivia Wolffe 0-2-2; Cassidy Lovett 4-7-15; Becca Ratliff 3-0-6; Aubrey McCoy 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 2 (5)-0-19; Tori Evans 1 (1)-0-5; Tanner Bryant 6 (2)-0-18; Magarah Bloom 0-0-0; Gracee Stewart 0-4-4; Morgan Miller 1-0-2. TOTALS — 17 (8)-14-72. Free throw shooting: 14 of 17 for 82 percent. Three-point field goals: McDonald, 5; Bryant, 2; Evans. Combined field goal shooting: 25 of 57 for 44 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 8 of 17 for 47 percent. Rebounds: 32 (12 offensive). Turnovers: 11. Assists: 15. Steals: 14. Personal fouls: 16.
FAIRFIELD UNION — Braidyn Reed 1-1-3; Olivia Spillers 0-0-0; Kat Qualls 2-0-4; Theron Ruff 0-0-0; Miranda McPeak 0 (1)-0-3; Evie Wolshire 2-6-10; Ava Moellendick 3-1-7; Mailyn Sunkle 1 (1)-5-10; Katie Burke 0-2-2; Marisa Malone 1-0-2; Kayla Forsythe 0-0-0; Joey Burke 0-0-0. TOTALS — 10 (2)-15-41. Free throw shooting: 15 of 17 for 88 percent. Three-point field goals: McPeak, Sunkle. Combined field goal shooting: 12 of 39 for 31 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 8 for 25 percent. Turnovers: 25. Offensive rebounds: 8.
Lady Panthers win j-v game with Fairfield Union
In the j-v game Thursday, Miami Trace defeated Fairfield Union, 31-24.
The Lady Panthers are now 12-6 overall with a game at Washington High School Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Tournament tickets on sale at MTHS
Tickets for the Miami Trace girls basketball Sectional semifinal game at Adena High School on Wednesday, Feb. 14 will be on sale in the Athletic Office from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Friday and Monday through Wednesday next week.
The game tips off at 6:15 p.m. All tickets are $5. The Lady Panthers play the winner of the McClain/Waverly game.