The Washington Blue Lions hosted the Miami Trace Panthers for the final game of the 2016-17 regular season Friday night.
The gymnasium at Washington High School was nearly filled to capacity for this meeting of Fayette County and SCOL rivals.
Speaking of the South Central Ohio League, this was the final SCOL game that will be played at Washington High School.
The Panthers had a strong first quarter and parlayed that into a 61-49 victory.
Miami Trace, outright SCOL champions, finishes with a league record of 13-1. The Panthers are 19-3 overall.
Washington finishes in fifth place in the SCOL at 5-8. The Blue Lions are now 7-15 overall.
Washington currently stands in fifth place in the league.
Miami Trace had a quartet in double figures, led by senior Tyrae Pettiford, the game’s leading scorer, with 15 points. Pettiford had four rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocked shots.
Seniors DeAndre Pettiford and Blake Pittser each scored 12 points for the Panthers.
Pettiford had two rebounds, four assists and four steals. Pittser had three rebounds and one assist.
Junior Darby Tyree had 11 points, with one slam dunk off a pass from DeAndre Pettiford in the fourth quarter. Tyree had five rebounds, one steal and two blocked shots.
Junior Cameron Carter had eight points and also led the Panthers with eight rebounds. He had four steals and four assists with one blocked shot.
Senior Skyler McDonald hit one three for three points.
Senior Kory Proby led Washington with 13 points. He had five rebounds, one assist and four steals.
Senior Kenny Upthegrove scored nine points with a team-high eight rebounds. He also had four assists.
Senior Jarett Patton scored nine points and three rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Sophomore Evan Upthegrove had eight points. He also had five rebounds and one assist.
Sophomore Richard Burns Jr. had seven points and sophomore Dillon Steward scored three with three rebounds.
The Blue Lions took an early 5-0 lead on the Panthers with a three from Kenny Upthegrove and a conventional basket by Jarett Patton.
Darby Tyree hit a three and after a free throw from Tyrae Pettiford, Blake Pittser hit a three to give the Panthers a 7-5 lead.
It would be the final lead of the game for the Blue Lions.
The Panthers engineered a 15-2 run to take a 21-8 lead.
Miami Trace led Washington 21-10 after one quarter of play.
The Panthers cooled off in the second quarter, scoring nine points to seven for the Blue Lions.
At the half, Miami Trace was in front, 30-17.
Miami Trace led by 16 points early in the third quarter and finished the frame with a 17-point lead, 45-28.
The Blue Lions clawed and scrapped their way back in the fourth quarter.
Washington got as close as nine points, trailing 51-42 with 3:15 to play in the game.
It was 10-7 down the stretch in favor of the Panthers to create the final score, 61-49.
“Despite the pace of play to start the third quarter, it was really a grind, up and down,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “They were extending the possessions, which is not usually how we want to play. Since we were up by 13, I thought it wouldn’t be terrible if the pace of play slowed down a little bit.
“In retrospect, they’re probably a little more comfortable (with that pace),” Pittser said. “I think that led to us dropping energy a little bit. We had a ton of trouble covering their ball screen action in the second half. We covered it really well in the first half. They didn’t do anything we weren’t prepared for, but for some reason, we got lost two or three times. Shannon (Washington head coach Bartruff) does a good job, so we knew the wave was coming.
“We finally got the lead built back where we needed it,” Pittser said. “You can’t overextend yourself to the point where you’re pressuring and maybe giving up easy stuff. We did what we thought was appropriate at the time. Fortunately we held on and it worked out for us.”
Pittser spoke about the packed house for Friday’s game.
“I can tell you as a former player having played in this game for a lot of years, it was a ton of fun,” Pittser said. “Having coached in this game a lot, it’s not much fun. For the kids and the community, it’s really, really great to have a crowd of that size.”
“In the first quarter, we were 2 of 10 (shooting) and had five turnovers,” Washington head coach Shannon Bartruff said. “You just can’t come out against them like that, especially when they are making shots.
“They made some contested shots, but they hurt us in transition and the turnovers and the hole we dug ourselves early on,” Bartruff said. “We were 6 of 23 in the first half and had nine turnovers. I was almost kind of happy we were only down by 13 at the half.
“Our half-court defense was pretty solid all night,” Bartruff said. “They made some tough shots, that’s just the kind of team they are. I thought our kids fought the entire game. They didn’t give up. We were much better after the first quarter. It’s just hard to come back against a seasoned basketball team. Coach Pittser has them rolling right now.”
Washington now prepares for a Sectional tournament game against Circleville at Southeastern High School Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6:15 p.m.
Miami Trace will play the winner of that game on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. at Southeastern High School.
The Washington Blue Lions won the j-v game over the Panthers. We apologize for not having the scoring summary. We will endeavor to publish that soon.
Miami Trace’s j-v team ends the season with a record of 6-8 in the SCOL, 9-13 overall.
Washington’s j-v team concludes the 2016-17 season at 3-11 in the SCOL, 4-16 overall.
Miami Trace’s freshman boys team went 7-10 overall, 5-9 in the SCOL for 2016-17.
Bookends: Miami Trace won the first SCOL boys basketball title in the reconstituted league back in 2003-04 and they have won the final-ever SCOL title in 2016-17. Farewell SCOL.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 21 9 15 16 — 61
W 10 7 11 21 — 49
MIAMI TRACE — DeAndre Pettiford 3 (1)-3-12; Cameron Carter 2-4-8; Skyler McDonald 0 (1)-0-3; Tyrae Pettiford 3 (2)-3-15; Seth Leach 0-0-0; Blake Pittser 2 (2)-2-12; Keondrick Bryant 0-0-0; Jacob Batson 0-0-0; Heath Cockerill 0-0-0; Brett Lewis 0-0-0; Darby Tyree 4 (1)-0-11; Tionte Connell 0-0-0. TOTALS — 14 (7)-12-61. Free throw shooting: 12 of 15 for 80 percent. Three-point field goals: T. Pettiford, 2; Pittser, 2; D. Pettiford, McDonald, Tyree. Combined field goal shooting: 21 of 41 for 51 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 7 of 17 for 41 percent. Rebounds: 25 (5 offensive). Assists: 11. Steals: 11. Blocks: 6. Turnovers: 14. Personal fouls: 13. Bench points: 11. Second chance points: 2. Points off turnovers: 13.
WASHINGTON — Dillon Steward 0 (1)-0-3; Jarett Patton 2 (1)-2-9; Evan Upthegrove 1 (1)-3-8; Ross Matthews 0-0-0; Kory Proby 6-1-13; Kenny Upthegrove 3 (1)-0-9; Blaise Tayese 0-0-0; Richard Burns Jr. 3-1-7. TOTALS — 15 (4)-7-49. Free throw shooting: 7 of 11 for 64 percent. Combined field goal shooting: 19 of 50 for 38 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 16 for 25 percent. Rebounds: 24 (8 offensive). Assists: 9. Steals: 5. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 14. Personal fouls: 16. Bench points: 3. Second chance points: 4. Points off turnovers: 9.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1