OTTAWA — The Miami Trace Lady Panthers are in the midst of a tremendous series of games as they look to toughen themselves up for the stretch run for the SCOL championship and the upcoming Sectional tournament.
On Saturday, Miami Trace, ranked No. 14 in Division II in the Associated Press poll last week, traveled to Putnam County to take on the No. 1 team in the State in Division II, the Ottawa Glandorf Titans.
Miami Trace acquitted itself very well, with a strong start and competing well until the end when the Titans finished with a 57-46 victory.
Miami Trace drops to 14-2 overall. Ottawa Glandorf is now 16-0.
For the Lady Panthers, junior Victoria Fliehman led with 14 points and also led with seven rebounds. Fliehman had four three-point field goals.
Senior Hanna Reisinger scored 13 points, including four three-point baskets and also had three assists.
Senior Samantha Ritenour had 11 points.
Junior Tanner Bryant was in foul trouble and finished with four points.
Sophomore Cassidy Lovett had two points and freshman Shaylee McDonald had two points.
For the Titans, senior Kylie White led the game with 22 points.
Junior Katie Hempfling scored 18 points and Erin Kaufman scored 11 points.
Miami Trace took a 9-0 lead at the start of the game.
By the end of the first quarter, however, an 18-3 run gave the Titans an 18-12 lead.
Miami Trace got four of those points back in the second quarter and trailed 26-24 at the half.
At the end of the third quarter, Ottawa held a 39-35 lead.
Winning the fourth quarter by seven points, Ottawa was able to post the final victory margin of 57-46.
“I was very pleased with the way we came out,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “We were ready to play.
“Tanner Bryant and Cassidy Lovett sat most of the first half in foul trouble,” Ackley said. “In the locker room at the half, down by just two, we felt we were in a pretty good place.
“We were down by four at the end of three,” Ackley said. “But, it was back-and-forth, it was a great game, both ways. There were several lead changes in the third quarter. It was a game of runs continuously throughout.
“They started the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run,” Ackley said. “We just kind of played even with them, basically, the rest of the game. We had some opportunities.
“I’m just extremely proud of the kids,” Ackley said. “Ottawa Glandorf is as disciplined a team as we’ve seen all year long. They passed the ball better than any team we’ve seen all year long. They see the floor and they have five players who really play the game the right way.
“They don’t have one or two big-time players on their team,” Ackley said. “They have five kids who play their role and play it to the max.
“They have two really nice players (White and Hempfling),” Ackley said. “One of them is a post player who plays on the perimeter quite a bit. It was a really bad match-up for us.
“If we were disappointed in one thing, it was our defense,” Ackley said. “We had too many breakdowns defensively. Fifty-seven points is too many for us to be giving up to anybody, even as good as they are.
“They did a good job with about four minutes to go of stalling the ball,” Ackley said. “They were up six or eight and we had to take some chances and they made us pay with their passing; they made a couple of back-door cuts.
“With about four and a half minutes to go in the game, it was a two possession game,” Ackley said. “That’s what we set out for. We wanted to be within two possessions with four minutes to go.
“Hanna Reisinger and Victoria Fleihman were both huge for us,” Ackley said. “They hit big shot after big shot and kept us in the game. Sam Ritenour has been very solid the last three games, both offensively and rebounding.
“It’s been a grueling stretch on our kids,” Ackley said. “I thought the girls played with a lot of fire and a lot of grit. We came out of that game, other than winning the game, we came out of it with a great learning lesson for our kids. It was the best defensive team we’ve played all year. There’s a reason they’re No. 1 in the state.”
Miami Trace will be back in action at home Wednesday with a game against Chillicothe. The j-v game starts at 5:30 p.m.
It will be a battle of the top two teams in the SCOL with Miami Trace at 10-0 and Chillicothe 9-1 in the league (14-2 overall).
Wilmington begins the week in third place at 7-3, followed by McClain at 5-5, Washington at 3-6 and East Clinton and Hillsboro both 2-8 and Clinton-Massie 1-8.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 12 12 11 11 — 46
OG 18 8 13 18 — 57
MIAMI TRACE — Cassidy Lovett 1-0-2; Hanna Reisinger 0 (4)-1-13; Shaylee McDonald 1-0-2; Morgan Miller 0-0-0; Victoria Fliehman 1 (4)-0-14; Tanner Bryant 1-2-4; Samantha Ritenour 5-1-11. TOTALS — 9 (8)-4-46. Free throw shooting: 4 of 5 for 80 percent. Three-point field goals: Fliehman, 4; Reisinger, 4. Combined field goal shooting: 17 of 33 for 52 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 8 of 14 for 57 percent. Rebounds: 18 (6 offensive). Assists: 11. Steals: 4. Turnovers: 14.
OTTAWA GLANDORF — Ashley Schroeder 1-1-3; Erin Kaufman 1 (3)-0-11; Alexis Schroeder 0 (1)-0-3; Kylie White 10-2-22; Katie Hempfling 8-2-18. TOTALS — 20 (4)-5-57. Free throw shooting: 5 of 7 for 71 percent. Three-point field goals: Kaufman, 3; Al. Schroeder. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 10 for 40 percent. Combined field goal shooting: 24 of 43 for 56 percent. Turnovers: 11. Offensive rebounds: 10.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1