The Miami Trace Panthers sustained an early rain of three-point field goals by Madison Plains and, with a very strong second and third quarter, pulled away to win the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament title Friday, 82-60.
Madison Plains came out on fire from long range, hitting seven three-point buckets in the first quarter to take a 26-18 lead.
However, the Golden Eagles were only able to sink on more three (that coming in the third quarter), while Miami Trace cranked up the defensive intensity and held Madison Plains to 18 points combined in the second and third quarters.
For the Panthers, junior Cameron Carter led in scoring 20 points. With his 22-point performance Wednesday against Greeneview, Carter was named the 2016 Most Valuable Player of the McDonald’s tournament.
DeAndre Pettiford scored 14 points and was also named to the all-tournament team from Miami Trace.
Miami Trace had five players reach double figures, as senior Tyrae Pettiford scored 14, senior Seth Leach had 12 and junior Darby Tyree scored 10. All 13 players for Miami Trace saw playing time.
Cameron Near was the game’s leading scorer for Madison Plains, pouring in 23 points. He was named to the all-tournament team.
Andy Shunk scored 13 for Madison Plains and Hunter McConkey scored 12.
Spencer Ruzicka of Madison Plains, Darius Davis of London and Dylan Lehotay of Greeneview were also named to the all-tournament team.
At the start it appeared that Madison Plains could not miss from three-point range.
On the strength of their three-point shooting, the Golden Eagles took a 26-16 lead.
The final bucket of the first quarter, a put-back from Leach, made it 26-18 at the end of the first quarter.
That basket was the beginning of what would be a 14-0 run that gave Miami Trace a 32-26 lead midway through the second quarter.
A free throw from Shunk made it 32-30, Miami Trace with 3:33 to play in the first half.
That was as close as the game would get the rest of the way.
Carter then scored the next 10 points for the Panthers for a 10-2 Miami Trace run to put his team up by 10, 42-32.
At the half, Miami Trace was in front, 44-34.
Miami Trace began the third quarter with another 10-2 run to take a 54-36 lead.
The Panthers continued to pressure and trap the Golden Eagles, with turnovers and steals assisting a 9-3 run for Miami Trace to extend the lead out to 63-39.
Senior Tiante Connell scored a bucket for the Panthers late in the third and by the end of the period, the Panthers were in command, 67-44.
The fourth quarter went to Madison Plains, but by just one point.
The Panthers led by as many as 30 points (80-50), but the Golden Eagles scored 10 of the game’s last 12 points as Miami Trace cruised to an 82-60 victory.
“With the style were trying to commit to, you’re going to have to live with some stretches like that,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said, referring to the blistering hot three-point shooting by Madison Plains to begin the game.
“We’re trying to play up-tempo, we’re trying to trap them a lot,” Pittser said. “What happens some times, guys get loose, especially in the deep corner and they made a lot of deep corner threes.
“The key for us is to be patient,” Pittser said. “If a team gets hot for a stretch, you live with it. I think their kids got tired. We were playing 10 guys and playing really, really fast and they were trying to survive with seven or eight guys. I think the pressure started to bother them quite a bit.”
Miami Trace, now 7-2 overall, returns to action with a home game against Lynchburg-Clay Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017 with the freshman game at 4:45 p.m.
The Panthers, 4-0 in the SCOL, returns to league play, the final-ever season of basketball in the South Central Ohio League, with a game at McClain Friday, Jan. 6.
“We’ve gotten ourselves off to a good start in the league,” Pittser said. “People are really going to come after us the first couple of weeks of January. We’re going to have to re-focus and re-establish what we want to do, league-wise and continue to battle and continue to improve.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 18 26 23 15 — 82
MP 26 8 10 16 — 60
MIAMI TRACE — Cameron Carter 6 (2)-2-20; Tyrae Pettiford 7-1-15; DeAndre Pettiford 5 (1)-1-14; Seth Leach 6-0-12; Darby Tyree 5-0-10; Mitchell Creamer 1 (1)-0-5; Skyler McDonald 0 (1)-0-3; Tiante Connell 1-0-2; Keondrick Bryant 0-1-1; Jacob Batson 0-0-0; Heath Cockerill 0-0-0; Brett Lewis 0-0-0; Blake Pittser 0-0-0. TOTALS — 31 (5)-5-82. Free throw shooting: 5 of 8 for 62 percent. Three-point field goals: Carter, 2; D. Pettiford, Creamer, McDonald. Combined field goal shooting: 36 of 71 for 51 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 5 of 14 for 35 percent. Rebounds: 40 (11 offensive). Assists: 15. Steals: 12. Blocks: 3. Turnovers: 12. Personal fouls: 14. Bench points: 32. Second chance points: 18. Points off turnovers: 12.
MADISON PLAINS — Cameron Near 3 (4)-5-23; Andy Shunk 2 (3)-0-13; Hunter McConkey 4 (1)-1-12; Jonathon Dill 2-4-8; Ian Richards 1-0-2; Jacob Toops 1-0-2; Ross Buscemi 0-0-0; Spencer Ruzicka 0-0-0; Wade Sizemore 0-0-0. TOTALS — 13 (8)-10-60. Free throw shooting: 10 of 12 for 83 percent. Three-point field goals: Near, 4; Shunk, 3; McConkey. Combined field goal shooting: 21 of 56 for 37 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 8 of 20 for 40 percent. Rebounds: 25 (5 offensive). Assists: 7. Steals: 7. Blocks: 1. Turnovers: 17. Personal fouls: 5. Bench points: 2. Second chance points: 8. Points off turnovers: 2.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1