The Miami Trace girls basketball team knew they had to take care of business against the younger, but ever-improving Washington Lady Blue Lions, if they were to claim at least a share of the 2016-17 (and last-ever) South Central Ohio League basketball title Saturday night.
The Lady Panthers surely remembered the game at Washington High School on Jan. 7 when Washington pulled to within three points before falling to Miami Trace, 39-32.
Miami Trace won the game Saturday, 51-42.
What they did not know until immediately after the final horn had sounded, was that Wilmington had just defeated Chillicothe, the team that was tied with Miami Trace going into Saturday’s games, 40-32.
The win by Miami Trace and the loss by Chillicothe made the Lady Panthers outright SCOL champions for the second year in a row.
Miami Trace finishes the final SCOL season with a record of 13-1 (18-4 overall).
Chillicothe places second in the SCOL at 12-2 (19-3 overall).
Wilmington places third at 11-3 (17-5 overall); McClain takes fourth place at 8-6 (12-10) and Washington places fifth at 6-8 (11-11 overall).
Washington and Miami Trace now prepare to meet for the third time this season Thursday at 6:15 p.m. at Adena High School (near Frankfort) in the opening round of the Sectional tournament.
On Saturday, Miami Trace junior Tanner Bryant was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points. She also led her team with nine rebounds.
Four other players (one from each grade) scored in the game for Miami Trace and they each scored seven points: freshman Shaylee McDonald, sophomore Cassidy Lovett, junior Victoria Fliehman and senior Hanna Reisinger.
Sophomore Hannah Haithcock led the Lady Lions with 14 points.
Freshman Shawna Conger scored 12 points, freshman Rayana Burns scored nine and senior Savannah Wallace had seven.
Haithcock scored the first basket of the game for Washington.
After a pair of free throws by Bryant, Haithcock hit a three-point shot to make it 5-2, Lady Lions.
Washington also led 7-4, 9-6 and 14-9 before McDonald hit a three-point shot to make it 14-12, Washington at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter marked the turning point in the game.
Miami Trace outscored Washington, 13-2 to take a 25-16 halftime lead.
The Lady Panthers trailed, 16-15 with 4:20 to play in the second quarter. They closed out the half on a 10-0 run, including a buzzer-beating layup from Bryant.
Miami Trace continued to build upon its lead in the third quarter. The Lady Panthers enjoyed a lead of as many as 18 points before Conger hit back-to-back threes to make it 44-32, Miami Trace at the end of the third.
Wallace hit a three-point shot near the end of the game to make the final Miami Trace 51, Washington 42.
“If you look at the score, break it down by quarters, that second quarter is what sticks out,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “We only scored two points and that just hurt us, right there.
“That’s really the difference in the game,” Leach said. “In the second half, we stayed right with them.” The second half was tied, 26-26.
“Ultimately, it comes down to our turnovers,” Leach said. “I know that we had a lot of turnovers. That’s what hurt us in the long run. We were giving them more and more opportunities than they should have had.”
Unofficially, Washington had 24 turnovers to 17 for Miami Trace.
“I thought my girls played hard until the end,” Leach said. “We’re going to go back to work for three days and we’ll be back at it Thursday.”
“I’m very proud of the way our kids were resilient tonight,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “We had different line-ups in early, line-ups we really haven’t had in all year, together. I thought they held serve pretty well.
“Court House shot the ball well in the first 14, 15 minutes,” Ackley said. “We stayed close. We weren’t clicking, offensively. We made a nice little run at the end of the second quarter and that sparked us.
“I was just pleased with the effort of our kids, the way they played together,” Ackley said. “We’ve preached that all year and we’re hitting our peak right now, which is a perfect time.
“I know this, they’re the last team we wanted to play in the first round of the tournament,” Ackley said of Washington. “They’ve gotten a ton better. Their freshmen are growing and it shows what a great job their coaching staff is doing. They’re getting better each and every game. They’ll be a lot better Thursday than they were tonight. They definitely have our attention.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 12 13 19 7 — 51
W 14 2 16 10 — 42
MIAMI TRACE — Cassidy Lovett 2 (1)-0-7; Hanna Reisinger 2 (1)-0-7; Shaylee McDonald 0 (1)-4-7; Morgan Miller 0-0-0; Victoria Fliehman 1-5-7; Tanner Bryant 10-3-23; Samantha Ritenour 0-0-0; Tori Riley 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (3)-12-51. Free throw shooting: 12 of 15 for 80 percent. Three-point field goals: Lovett, Reisinger, McDonald. Combined field goal shooting: 18 of 44 for 41 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 13 for 23 percent. Turnovers: 17. Rebounds: 24 (8 offensive). Assists: 10. Steals: 15. Personal fouls: 9.
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 3 (1)-0-9; Maddy Garrison 0-0-0; Bre Taylor 0-0-0; Kassidy Hines 0-0-0; Savannah Wallace 2 (1)-0-7; Tabby Woods 0-0-0; Shawna Conger 3 (2)-0-12; Maddy Jenkins 0-0-0; Hannah Haithcock 4 (1)-3-14. TOTALS — 12 (5)-3-42. Free throw shooting: 3 of 4 for 75 percent. Three-point field goals: Conger, 2; Burns, Wallace, Haithcock. Combined field goal shooting: 17 of 45 for 38 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 5 of 23 for 22 percent. Turnovers: 24. Offensive rebounds: 10.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1