CHILLICOTHE — Defending SCOL champions Miami Trace traveled to Chillicothe Wednesday to take on a team many picked to contend for the league title, the Lady Cavaliers. Both teams were undefeated in league play to start the night.
Miami Trace won two close games against Chillicothe last year, but suffered a season-ending loss to the Lady Cavs in the Sectional finals last season.
Wednesday, Miami Trace rallied from an early 14-4 deficit to post a 38-31 win over the Lady Cavaliers.
Miami Trace (now 6-0 overall, 4-0 in the SCOL), was led by junior Victoria Fliehman with 11 points. Fliehman had five rebounds and two three-point field goals.
Junior Tanner Bryant scored 10 points and led Miami Trace with seven rebounds and four assists.
Freshman Shaylee McDonald had seven points and three assists.
Chillicothe (now 4-2 overall, 3-1 in the SCOL) was led by junior Shawnee Smith with 11 points. She hit three of her team’s six three-point field goals.
Freshman Shawnice Smith scored seven points and senior Essence Devlin had six points (two three-point buckets).
Chillicothe took a 5-0 lead to begin the game. The Lady Cavs led 14-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Miami Trace hit just 2 of 12 shots in the first quarter, while Chillicothe connected on 5 of 9 shots, including four threes.
After being outscored by 10 points in the first quarter, Miami Trace outscored Chillicothe by 13 points in the second quarter to take a 20-17 halftime lead.
In the second quarter, Miami Trace made 5 of 11 field goal attempts, including hitting three threes, while Chillicothe cooled off to the tune of 1 of 8 from the floor.
An opening bucket by Miami Trace sophomore Cassidy Lovett to start the second half gave Miami Trace a 22-17 lead.
Chillicothe cut the lead to 22-20, but, after that, the Lady Panthers went on a 10-0 run to take a 32-20 lead.
Having established the lead, Miami Trace was able to run some time off the clock with multiple-pass possessions.
Devlin hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to keep Chillicothe’s hopes alive, though trailing, 32-23.
Shawnee Smith hit a three for the Lady Cavs, then Osh Brown scored, converting the old-fashioned three-point play to pull to within three points, 32-29.
A basket by McDonald with 6:14 to play preceded a four-minute plus span of game time in which neither team scored.
Bryant broke the scoring lull with a bucket with 1:52 to play in the game.
Chilllicothe scored and Bryant responded with what would prove to be the final score of the game, a basket with 1:15 to play in the contest.
Chillicothe went 0 of 4 from the field in the final minute, sealing the 38-31 Miami Trace victory.
“Tanner has done a much better job, just in the past three or four games,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “The University of Detroit was here watching her tonight. There are scouts watching her everywhere we go. That comes with a lot of pressure.
“Tanner’s answered the bell,” Ackley said. “She’s learning to let the game come to her. When you have someone the calibre of Osh Brown guarding you, you have to pick your spots. (Brown) is the best defender in the Southeast District, bar none. That’s saying something, because of Taylor Polley at McClain and a lot of other great defenders.
“Osh can guard five players on the floor and shut any five down,” Ackley said. “I thought Tanner did a much better job tonight against Osh than what she did in the tournament last year. She’s grown up, she works extremely hard and she’s a little stronger. She had a lot of help from her teammates in the first half.
“I have to do a better job of getting her a break early,” Ackley said. “That’s on me. I started us off in a zone tonight and I shouldn’t have done that. We bring out the best in their shooting percentage.”
Ackley had praise for senior Hanna Reisinger, as well.
“She’s the most undervalued player in this league, just because of all the things she does,” Ackley said. “She’s absolutely the glue that’s holding us together at times.
“Cass (Cassidy Lovett) is our spark plug,” Ackley said. “She’s our energy kid. No matter what happens, you can knock her down but you better be ready because she’s coming right back. She hit a huge jumper tonight for us in the third quarter.
“What’s great about this team is, we have a little bit of everything,” Ackley said. “Everyone comes together and does their job and it’s a lot of fun to watch.”
“In the first quarter, when we were knocking down the jump shots, I looked over to my assistant coach and I said, ‘we’re in trouble,’” Chillicothe head coach Pat Beard said. “He said, ‘what do you mean?’ I said, ‘we’re falling in love with the jump shot.’
“We’re not a jump-shooting team,” Beard said. “We’re a team that attacks the basket and makes things happen with our drives and our kicks. My concern to begin the game was, ‘I hope they don’t zone us.’ Because, we’re not a very good shooting team. We shot them out of the zone and I’m like, okay, we’re in business. But we were still shooting threes.
“I wanted the girls to be more patient,” Beard said. “They got the same looks they got early and thought they could make them and we didn’t make them. When you allow a team like Miami Trace, that doesn’t make very many mistakes, to get easy baskets, it’s very difficult to claw your way back into the basketball game.”
Miami Trace is at McClain Saturday with the j-v game starting at 5:30 p.m.
Chillicothe will play at East Clinton Saturday with the j-v game starting at noon.
Elsewhere around the SCOL Wednesday, Washington defeated Hillsboro, 73-37, McClain slipped past East Clinton, 33-32 and Wilmington beat Clinton-Massie, 39-18.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 4 16 12 6 — 38
C 14 3 6 8 — 31
MIAMI TRACE — Cassidy Lovett 1-1-3; Hanna Reisinger 0 (1)-0-3; Shaylee McDonald 1 (1)-2-7; Morgan Miller 0-0-0; Victoria Fliehman 2 (2)-1-11; Tanner Bryant 5-0-10; Samantha Ritenour 2-0-4. TOTALS — 11 (4)-4-38. Free throw shooting: 4 of 9 for 45 percent. Three-point field goals: Fliehman, 2; Reisinger, McDonald. Combined field goal shooting: 15 of 36 for 42 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 9 for 45 percent. Turnovers: 15. Rebounds: 21 (4 offensive). Assists: 12. Steals: 8.
CHILLICOTHE — McKenzie Green 0-0-0; Meliah Johnson 0-0-0; Shawnee Smith 1 (3)-0-11; Shawntel Smith 1-0-2; Essence Devlin 0 (2)-0-6; Shawnice Smith 2 (1)-0-7; Osh Brown 1-3-5. TOTALS — 5 (6)-3-31. Free throw shooting: 3 of 5 for 60 percent. Three-point field goals: Shawnee Smith, 3; Devlin, 2; Shawnice Smith. Combined field goal shooting: 11 of 37 for 30 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 6 of 19 for 32 percent. Turnovers: 16.
Miami Trace wins j-v game over Chillicothe
In the j-v game Wednesday, Miami Trace defeated Chillicothe, 30-26.
Becca Ratliff led Miami Trace (5-1, 4-0) with 13 points.
Tori Evans scored five points, including her team’s only three-point field goal.
Shania Villaruel had four points, Grace Bapst had three points, Lena Steele and Olivia Wolffe both scored two points and Aubrey Schwartz scored one.
Hayden Price was the game’s leading scorer for Chillicothe with 15 points, including three three-point baskets.
Alysia Cunningham scored four points, Zoe Ford and McKenzie Greene both had two points and Aries Barnes scored one.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1