New Lexington ends Miami Trace’s season, 52-31


NEW LEXINGTON — It was a match-up of Lady Panthers versus Lady Panthers as the Miami Trace varsity girls’ basketball team traveled to Perry County to take on New Lexington in a Division II Sectional championship game Thursday, Feb. 16.

New Lexington won the game, 52-31.

It was a bit of a tough go at the start for Miami Trace, as they trailed 6-0 and 10-3.

Miami Trace pulled to within three points before New Lexington hit a shot at the buzzer to take a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“In the first half we played really hard,” Miami Trace head coach Kayla Dettwiller said. “(New Lexington) came out shooting hot. They played with a lot of energy. We knew they were going to come out in a 1-2-2 press, so we worked on that this week.

“We told the girls to sustain their heat in the beginning and we’ll be alright and we did that,” Dettwiller said. “I think we were down three going into half.”

Miami Trace trailed by as many as seven points in the second quarter before battling back to tie the game, 21-21 with 22 seconds to play in the half.

New Lexington hit a three-point shot scant seconds before the buzzer, taking a 24-21 halftime lead.

“We were in a position we felt really good about going into halftime,” Dettwiller said.

Early in the third quarter, Miami Trace found itself down five points. A 6-2 mini run by Miami Trace put the score at 28-27, in favor of New Lexington, with 4:48 to play in the penultimate period.

From there, however, the tide turned, irrevocably against Miami Trace.

New Lexington closed out the third quarter on a 15-0 run.

The streak carried over into the fourth quarter, reaching 19-0 and giving New Lexington a 47-27 lead with 6:11 to play in the game.

During the run by New Lexington, Miami Trace had nine turnovers and went 0 of 4 from the field.

Miami Trace senior Mallory Lovett ended New Lexington’s run with a free throw at the 5:50 mark of the fourth quarter.

Down the stretch, New Lexington scored five points to Miami Trace’s three for the final score of 52-31.

“Give New Lexington credit, that’s a really good team,” Dettwiller said. “They have some high-quality kids. Their point guard, Aubri Spicer, that’s a kid with a high motor. We’ve seen her go right. Our challenge to the kids at halftime was to try to make her go left. She’s going to Tiffin next year.”

Miami Trace ends the 2022-23 season with a record of 13-10, improving upon an 8-14 record from 2021-22.

New Lexington improves to 18-5 and moves on to the District semifinals and a game against the No. 2 seed Unioto at Piketon High School Monday at 6:15 p.m. Unioto improved to 23-0 Thursday, defeating Vinton County, 87-20.

For Miami Trace Thursday, junior Jessee Stewart led with 15 points, including hitting three three-point field goals.

Senior Hillery ‘Bean’ Jacobs scored seven points and had one three-point field goal.

Senior Hillary McCoy scored four points, junior Sue Morris and sophomore Nevaeh Lyons both scored two points and Lovett scored one. Lovett led Miami Trace in rebounds with seven.

McCoy had five rebounds and two assists.

Senior Kaelin Pfeifer had three rebounds and led her team with three steals.

“We’re saying goodbye to four seniors,” Dettwiller said of Hillery ‘Bean’ Jacobs, Hillary McCoy, Kaelin Pfeifer and Mallory Lovett.

“They’re going to leave a big hole in our program,” Dettwiller said. “Kaelin Pfeifer ran a lot of point and defensive point for us over the last three years. She brings a lot of energy in practice. She makes everyone around her work harder. She never takes a play off in practice. We’re going to be missing that high energy next year.

“Mallory Lovett usually gets the assignment of the big kid inside,” Dettwiller said. “She’s only 5 foot 7. She always has a big assignment and she’s never backed down from it. She’s a real even keel kid; I know what she’s going to do. She never gets real excited; she handles her business. She’s a defense first kid. She’s talking out there. It’s something maybe people in the stands don’t see, but, as coaches, it’s something we can’t talk enough about when you have a senior out there leading the rest of the group.

“Hillary McCoy — her length and her speed and her slashing — she does a lot of things naturally,” Dettwiller said. “Like tonight — she hasn’t guarded a post much and we told her tonight, ‘you’re going to play post defense’ and she said, ‘okay, coach.’ She did a great job. She’s a versatile kid. She can go from a four to a point guard from one possession to the next, so, we’re going to be missing that, too.

“‘Bean’ Jacobs is a four-year varsity kid,” Dettwiller said. “One thing I can say about her is, she’s completely coachable. She’s a student of the game. She’s got a high basketball i.q. She comes in and she cares more than anything about it. She knows the game plan. She knew the team (New Lexington) just as well as I did. She knew what the match-ups were. We’re going to be losing a lot of her preparation and her ability to put her teammates into good positions.

“In practice, she’s the first kid to volunteer to play defense,” Dettwiller said. “She’s the first person to flip her jersey over. She’s a team-first kid. She’s going to leave a big hole to fill.”

New Lexington was led by senior Aubri Spicer with 19 points.

Freshman Chloe Dick scored 14 points and senior Kim Kellogg had seven points.

“Thank you to the fans who followed us all year long,” Dettwiller said. “We’ve had some long trips; I think this was our longest of the year. Our parents do a great job with the parent club. They feed our kids before every game. That’s something I don’t have to think about.

“We have a parent, Jenny Stewart, who has taken that over the last three or four years and she’s done a great job,” Dettwiller said. “She always keeps things organized.

“Karl (Kellenberger) is always with us, keeping the book,” Dettwiller said. “He always has my stats ready for me. He’s a great support guy. He’s been part of the program for over 20 years now.

“The coaching staff, every day in practice, when we have a practice plan, they’re looking at that, seeing things, helping to adjust things,” Dettwiller said. “That helps give me a different perspective on things.”

Coaches at the high school level, along with Dettwiller, are Carlos Roberts, Meghann Ackley and Shawn Grooms.

“Our junior high coaches do a nice job,” Dettwiller said. “Our eighth grade coach (Payge Smith) has been helping us at practice the last week and a half. She wanted to be a part of it.

“Of course, our seventh grade coach, my dad (Dennis Overstake) does a lot of scouting for us. We’re getting ready to get on the bus and he’s still calling me with things that he’s picking up.

“I want to thank the boys’ program,” Dettwiller said. “They’re always willing to work with us. Ben Ackley (former Lady Panthers head coach) is a great supporter of the girls’ program.

“I know I’m leaving people out and I can’t name everybody, but there are a lot people who go into this,” Dettwiller said. “It’s more than just the people you see on the sidelines. I’m real appreciative of all those who came out and supported us in any way, shape or form this year.”


MT 9 12 6 4 — 31

NL 14 10 19 9 — 52

MIAMI TRACE — Ellie Robinette 0-0-0; Kaelin Pfeifer 0-0-0; Hillary McCoy 2-0-4; Sue Morris 1-0-2; Jessee Stewart 2 (3)-2-15; Nevaeh Lyons 1-0-2; Mallory Lovett 0-1-1; Hillery Jacobs 2 (1)-0-7; Ryleigh Vincent 0-0-0; Zoey Grooms 0-0-0. TOTALS — 8 (4)-3-31. Free throw shooting: 3 of 4 for 75 percent. Three-point field goals: Stewart, 3; Jacobs. Field goal shooting: 12 of 43 for 28 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 15 for 27 percent. Rebounds: 21 (6 offensive). Turnovers: 18. Assists: 6. Steals: 6. Fouls: 10.

NEW LEXINGTON — Makenzy McCoy 0 (2)-0-6; Aaliyah Stanley 0-0-0; Kim Kellogg 3-1-7; Olivia Beaulieu 0-0-0; Chloe Dick 3 (2)-2-14; Trinity Cook 1-0-2; Abby Wilson 1-2-4; Paige Binkley 0-0-0; Aubri Spicer 9-1-19; Caroline Dupler 0-0-0; Gracie Newlon 0-0-0. TOTALS — 17 (4)-6-52. Free throw shooting: 6 of 11 for 55 percent. Three-point field goals; McCoy, 2; Dick, 2. Field goal shooting: 21 of 51 for 41 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 13 for 31 percent. Turnovers: 15. Offensive rebounds: 16.

Thank you to Karl Kellenberger for providing the statistics again this season for Miami Trace Lady Panthers basketball.

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