The Wilmington Lady Hurricane visited Miami Trace High School to take on the undefeated Lady Panthers in the final match-up between the two teams, at least as members of the South Central Ohio League, Saturday night.
A large crowd turned out to witness this clash of two of the top three teams in the league as they battled for the final-ever girls SCOL basketball title.
In a very close and very competitive game, Miami Trace came away with a 38-33 victory.
Miami Trace, now 13-0 overall and 9-0 in the SCOL, was led by junior Tanner Bryant with 13 points. She was high scorer in the game overall.
Senior Samantha Ritenour had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Junior Victoria Fliehman led her team with eight rebounds and added five points.
For Wilmington, sophomore Mya Jackson led with 11 points.
Junior Leah Frisco had nine points and junior Katlyn Jamiel had six points.
Miami Trace made 13 of 29 field goal attempts for 45 percent. The Lady Panthers had 12 twos and one three-point field goal.
Wilmington converted 12 field goals out of 43 attempts for 28 percent. The ‘Cane made nine two-point baskets and three three-point field goals.
Miami Trace had almost twice as many turnovers as did Wilmington, 15-8.
At the free throw line, Miami Trace had the advantage, making 11 of 16 for 69 percent compared with Wilmington’s 6 of 14 from the line for 43 percent.
Wilmington held an 11-8 lead at the end of the first period.
At the half, Miami Trace had rallied to go in front, 19-16.
The Lady Panthers built a lead of as many as seven points in the third quarter. After three, Miami Trace held a 29-24 lead.
Miami Trace began the fourth quarter with six unanswered points to take the lead up to 11, 35-24.
From there, it was Wilmington who started chipping away with a 9-0 run to pull to within two points, 35-33 with 1:44 to play in the game.
A Miami Trace turnover was followed by a Wilmington miss on the offensive end.
After tough defense forced Miami Trace to take two time outs to avoid a five-second call, Bryant took the ball to the basket and scored. She was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to push the lead back up to five points, 38-33 with 23 seconds remaining.
On their next trip down the floor, Wilmington missed a field goal attempt. They quickly fouled to stop the clock and Miami Trace missed the front end of a one-and-one with 10.6 seconds to play.
Wilmington turned the ball over on their final possession that left the ending score at 38-33.
“Wilmington is exceptional on the perimeter out front,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “I think that’s definitely the strength of their team this year, their half-court man defense. That’s where they’ve taken on the mentality of their coaching staff that’s done a great job.
“Those kids fought,” Ackley said. “Mya Jackson being in foul trouble in the first half, we were really concerned when we couldn’t get away from Wilmington and that says a lot about their group. I believe they came in here 10-3 and there’s a reason for that. They’re an exceptional team and I think it says so much about our league and the strength of our league. For them to be the third-best team in your league and come in like that; they absolutely gave us everything we wanted for 32 minutes.
“Tanner Bryant, I thought, was absolutely amazing tonight,” Ackley said. “She helped get Mya Jackson in foul trouble early. (Jackson) is a Division I guard getting big-time looks as a sophomore. She plays big-time AAU. She’s one of the top two or three players in the entire league.
“Tanner came up huge tonight, the last bucket was huge,” Ackley said. “We said tonight would be won or lost in the paint. Sam Ritenour played, arguably, the best game she’s ever played as a Miami Trace Panther. She commanded the middle well. We know how good Sam can be. She’s just extremely unselfish. Tonight the ball found her and she made plays for us, time and time again.
“Our kids rose to the challenge,” Ackley said. “We’ll see what we’re made of the next 14 days. We play the toughest stretch of games in the history of Miami Trace girls basketball in the next two weeks.”
After a game at Hillsboro Wednesday night, Miami Trace plays 13-1 Ross Southeastern at home on Thursday.
On Saturday, the Lady Panthers travel to Ottawa-Glandorf (Putnam County) on Saturday to take on one of the top teams in the State.
Defending District champions Chillicothe visit Miami Trace on Jan. 25 and the Lady Panthers play at Reynoldsburg, a Division I school, Saturday, Jan. 28.
“We told the girls we’re taking this one game at a time,” Ackley said. “We just need to grind it out.”
“I thought our girls gave a great effort and never stopped fighting the entire game,” Wilmington head coach Zach Williams said. “Our defense was exceptional. If you hold Miami Trace to under 40 points, you should have a good chance to win.
“When you shoot 6 of 14 from the line and, we missed some bunnies inside, missed some lay-ups and that’s going to haunt you,” Williams said. “That’s what happened tonight. I think we had a chance to win; we were there, we just didn’t finish.”
Wilmington is now 11-4 on the season, 6-3 in the SCOL.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 8 11 10 9 — 38
W 11 5 8 9 — 33
MIAMI TRACE — Cassidy Lovett 0-1-1; Hanna Reisinger 1-2-4; Shaylee McDonald 2-0-4; Morgan Miller 0-0-0; Victoria Fliehman 0 (1)-2-5; Tanner Bryant 4-5-13; Samantha Ritenour 5-1-11. TOTALS — 12 (1)-11-38. Free throw shooting: 11 of 16 for 69 percent. Three-point field goal: Fliehman. Combined field goal shooting: 13 of 29 for 45 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 9 for 11 percent. Rebounds: 25 (6 offensive). Assists: 5. Steals: 4. Personal fouls: 13. Turnovers: 15.
WILMINGTON — Jasmine Jamiel 2-0-4; Mya Jackson 3 (1)-2-11; Faith Sanderson 0-0-0; Katlyn Jamiel 1 (1)-1-6; Emily Edingfield 0-0-0; Tanner Stewart 0 (1)-0-3; Leah Frisco 3-3-9. TOTALS — 9 (3)-6-33. Free throw shooting: 6 of 14 for 43 percent. Three-point field goals: Jackson, K. Jamiel, Stewart. Combined field goal shooting: 12 of 43 for 28 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 20 for 15 percent. Turnovers: 8. Offensive rebounds: 9.
Miami Trace wins j-v game with Wilmington
In the junior-varsity game Saturday night, Miami Trace defeated Wilmington, 31-27.
Tori Evans led Miami Trace with 13 points. She hit three of her team’s five three-point field goals.
Becca Ratliff was also in double figures for Miami Trace with 10 points. Ratliff had the other two three-point baskets for the Lady Panthers.
Lena Steele and Olivia Wolffe rounded out the scoring for Miami Trace, each with four points.
Sami McCord was the game’s leading scorer for Wilmington with 16 points. She had one three-point bucket.
Karlie Morgan scored eight points, including hitting two threes, Tiara Harris scored two points and Sarah Quallen had one point.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1