The Miami Trace Panthers won a thriller in overtime Friday night, 68-65 over visiting Chillicothe in a battle for the top spot in the South Central Ohio League.
The Panthers led the Cavaliers by 13 points, 59-46, with 2:59 to play.
In a tremendous comeback effort, the Cavs scored 13 unanswered points to tie the game, 59-59 to force the overtime.
Miami Trace now has a two game lead over Chillicothe and Wilmington.
The Panthers are 10-1 in the SCOL (14-3 overall).
Chillicothe and Wilmington are tied for second at 8-3.
Miami Trace junior Cameron Carter led the game with 22 points.
He hit four of the Panthers’ 10 three-point baskets.
Senior Tyrae Pettiford had 17 points, including three threes and senior DeAndre Pettiford scored 12 points.
Senior Jordan Johnson led the Cavaliers (now 10-8 overall) with 20 points. He hit six three-point field goals.
Junior Branden Maughmer scored 19 and junior Seth Barnes had 16 points.
Chillicothe had a lead of 14-6 with 3:13 to play in the first quarter.
At the end of the period, the Panthers had rallied to take a 16-14 lead.
Chillicothe built a seven-point lead, 27-20, with 3:37 to play in the second quarter.
Carter’s rebound and stick-back at the buzzer gave the Panthers a 32-30 halftime lead.
The Panthers held a lead of as many as 11 points with 3:12 to play in the third quarter.
Miami Trace seemed fairly comfortably in control, 53-44 at the end of the third quarter.
The Panthers increased the margin to 13 at 59-46 with 2:59 to play in regulation.
But, again, whichever team was down on this night found the wherewithal to fight their way back. The Cavs closed out the final minutes on a 13-0 run to send the game into overtime.
The Cavs scored first in overtime on a lay-up by Maughmer.
Carter and DeAndre Pettiford scored the next four points to give the Panthers a 63-61 lead.
Maughmer made two free throws to tie the game, 63-63 with 1:59 remaining in overtime.
With 1:42 to play, DeAndre Pettiford hit one free throw.
Chillicothe attempted a three-point shot that was no good and the Panthers got the rebound.
After a time out at the 1:08 mark, Darby Tyree got free along the baseline and slamed the basketball home for a 66-63 lead.
The Panthers had a chance to increase their lead, but missed two free throws.
The Cavs scored to make it 66-65 with 16.6 seconds remaining.
With 5.2 seconds left, Carter made two free throws to make the final, 68-65.
Miami Trace won at Chillicothe back on Dec. 16, 62-59, also in overtime.
“We had a seven-point lead at the half at Chillicothe and that lead went away very early in the third quarter,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “Tonight, the frustrating thing was, we had a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter and we seemed to have an avalanche of turnovers, it was unexplainable.
“The mental part of embracing playing with a lead is something that has to come from within,” Pittser said. “There is a huge difference of having a two-game lead in the league and being tied with someone with three games to play. It’s a monumental difference at this point in the season.”
“We made some big shots (to force overtime),” Chillicothe head coach Eric Huffer said. “They went four corners early and we had to press the whole game. We had to trap in the half-court, which caused them some problems.
“We’ve got to play like that, with that sense of urgency, for all four quarters,” Huffer said. “These are things we’ve talked about all season.
“I thought Jordan Johnson stepped up,” Huffer said. “He hit three big threes there.
“We didn’t play smart,” Huffer said. “We were up 14-6. We were up, 27-20. And we take quick shots; we don’t reverse the ball, we don’t run our offense. We had some breakdowns in the first half and in the third quarter. I was proud of our effort there in the fourth to fight back.”
Miami Trace is back at home tonight to host Unioto with the freshman game at 4:45 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 16 16 21 6 9 — 68
C 14 16 14 15 6 — 65
MIAMI TRACE — Cameron Carter 4 (4)-2-22; Tyrae Pettiford 4 (3)-0-17; DeAndre Pettiford 4-4-12; Blake Pittser 0 (2)-0-6; Darby Tyree 3-0-6; Skyler McDonald 0 (1)-0-3; Seth Leach 1-0-2; Jacob Batson 0-0-0; Keondrick Bryant 0-0-0; Mitchell Creamer 0-0-0. TOTALS — 16 (10)-6-68. Free throw shooting: 6 of 13 for 46 percent. Three-point field goals: Carter, 4; T. Pettiford, 3; Pittser, 2; McDonald. Combined field goal shooting: 26 of 47 for 55 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 10 of 17 for 58 percent. Rebounds: 27 (6 offensive). Assists: 12. Steals: 8. Blocks: 3. Turnovers: 19. Personal fouls: 11. Bench points: 25. Second chance points: 8. Points off turnovers: 10.
CHILLICOTHE — Jordan Johnson 1 (6)-0-20; Branden Maughmer 8-3-19; Seth Barnes 5 (2)-0-16; Simon Roderick 3-0-6; Will Roderick 2-0-4; Jason Benson 0-0-0; Hunter Coffland 0-0-0; Khaleel Danzy 0-0-0. TOTALS — 19 (8)-3-65. Free throw shooting: 3 of 6 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Johnson, 6; Barnes, 2. Combined field goal shooting: 27 of 67 for 40 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 8 of 30 for 26 percent. Rebounds: 29 (13 offensive). Assists: 10. Steals: 9. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 12. Personal fouls: 15. Bench points: 6. Second chance points: 14. Points off turnovers: 13.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1