Panthers stun Hurricane, 57-52


WILMINGTON — For the first time in nearly four years, Wilmington’s Hurryin’ Hurricane boys basketball team lost a league game.

Battling back from a 13-point halftime deficit, Miami Trace dealt WHS a stunning 57-52 defeat on its home floor at Fred Summers Court Friday night.

All told, it snapped a consecutive win streak of 50 league games, dating back to Dec. 15, 2012. On that night, the Ross Rams defeated Wilmington by a final score of 64-54, in Southwest Ohio Conference action.

For Miami Trace, it was won of the program’s biggest wins in some time.

The Panthers are now 3-0 (2-0 in the SCOL) while the Hurricane falls to 2-1 on the season (1-1 in the SCOL).

This game was certainly a tale of two halves. Wilmington jumped out to a 15-6 first quarter lead and took a 34-21 advantage into the locker room at intermission.

However, when the teams took the floor to start the third quarter, Wilmington could not execute on offense, while the Panthers made a 20-10 run which sliced the deficit to just three points, 44-41, after three periods.

The momentum stayed with Miami Trace and the Panthers capitalized at the charity stripe with a 16-8 margin in the final period to salt away the victory.

For Panthers coach Rob Pittser, it was a situation where his players got on track and controlling the tempo of play helped them seize the momentum.

“We really wanted to play the style of game Wilmington plays, constantly trapping the ball and trying to force mistakes,” said Pittser. “I was disappointed that our kids seemed to have so much anxiety at the start and we were careless, committing too many turnovers (14 in the first half). Things started clicking for us in the second half and I felt we were able to force the tempo.

“That third quarter was the key. We got things turned around and battled hard to make it close. Once we got it tied and then took the lead, we really executed.”

For Wilmington head coach Mike Noszka it was simply a case of not putting the game away after building a big first half lead.

“We played very uncharacteristic basketball tonight. We had multiple chances to put it away and just did not do it. Just look at how many times we turned it over, especially in the second half,” he said.

Wilmington committed 15 turnovers in the game, including 10 in the second half.

“We have to do a better job taking care of the basketball,” said Noszka. “Tonight, we failed to do so. Right now we are continuing to find our identity after three games.

“We have to get better in some phases of the game and, like I said earlier, we need contributions from several people. Tonight Brady (Evans) gave us a lot of energy out there. Others, though, need to step up.”

Noszka felt the Panthers played with poise and control down the stretch.

“Give 20 (Blake Pittser) and 4 (Tyrae Pettiford) a lot of credit. They both were tough the last period and were poised out there tonight,” the WHS head coach said.

Pittser and Pettiford shared the rebounding lead for the Panthers, each with six.

Darby Tyree blocked two shots and DeAndre Pettiford had one blocked shot attempt.

Cameron Carter led the Panthers with four assists.

The Panthers converted at the free throw line, making 16 0f 23 total attempts. In the final period they were 9 of 15, which allowed Wilmington to stay within reach.

Pettiford led the Miami Trace scoring attack with 17 points while Pittser was next with 16. David Tyree was the third Panther in double digits with 12.

Wilmington was led by Jeffery Mansfield with 21 points, 14 coming in the first half.

Matt Smith followed with 10 and Chris Wolary was next with nine points for the Hurricane.

Miami Trace plays a non-conference game tonight at Dublin Jerome while Wilmington’s next action will be Tuesday at Fred Summers Court against East Clinton in SCOL.

Elsewhere in the SCOL Friday, Washington defeated East Clinton, 69-55, Chillicothe beat McClain, 59-40 and Hillsboro topped Clinton-Massie, 68-64.


MT 6 15 20 16 — 57

W 15 19 10 8 — 52

(52) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Evans 2-0-0-4, Gauche 2-0-0-4, Smith 5-0-0-10, Beaugard 1-0-2-4, Mansfield 7-0-7-21, Wolary 4-0-1-9. TOTALS 21-0-10-52. Free throw shooting: 10 of 14 for 71 percent. Three-point field goals: none. Three-point field goal shooting: 0 of 19. Total field goal shooting: 21 of 58 for 36 percent. Rebounds: 30 (11 offensive). Assists: 7. Steals: 8. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 14. Personal fouls: 15.

(57) MIAMI TRACE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Cameron Carter 0-0-6-6, Tyrae Pettiford 5-0-7-17, Seth Leach 2-0-2-4, Blake Pittser 7-2-0-16, Darby Tyree 5-1-1-12. TOTALS 19-3-16-57. Field goal shooting: 16 of 24 for 66 percent. Three-point field goals: Pittser, 2; Tyree. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 12 for 25 percent. Total field goal shooting: 19 of 47 for 40 percent. Rebounds: 29 (9 offensive). Assists: 13. Steals: 7. Blocks: 3. Turnovers: 17. Personal fouls: 16.

Miami Trace senior Tyrae Pettiford (4) grabs a rebound during an SCOL game Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 at Wilmington High School. Also pictured, for the Panthers, junior Darby Tyree and for Wilmington, Matthew Smith. Trace senior Tyrae Pettiford (4) grabs a rebound during an SCOL game Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 at Wilmington High School. Also pictured, for the Panthers, junior Darby Tyree and for Wilmington, Matthew Smith. Mark Huber | WNJ photo
MT hands ‘Cane 1st SCOL loss

By Bill Liermann

Wilmington News Journal

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