ZANESVILLE — The Miami Trace Lady Panthers are now one win away from the State Final Four after a thrilling 33-28 win over the New Philadelphia Lady Quakers in the Regional semifinals here at Zanesville High School Tuesday night.
Miami Trace (now 23-4) will return to Zanesville High School Friday night to take on the winner of Tuesday’s second game, Valley View versus Columbus Bishop Hartley.
There was only one player in the game who reached double figures in scoring and that was Miami Trace junior Tanner Bryant, who poured in 18 points.
Senior Samantha Ritenour scored six points, junior Victoria Fliehman hit the team’s only three-point field goal for three points, senior Hanna Reisinger scored two, sophomore Olivia Wolffe scored two and freshman Shaylee McDonald had two points.
Lexee Miller led the Lady Quakers with nine points.
Aaiyah Currence scored eight points, Rachael Anderson scored five, including her team’s only three-point basket; Sarah Harr scored four and Akyna Hastine added two points.
As the final score suggests, it was a defensive struggle at ZHS Tuesday night.
Bryant scored the first basket of the game for Miami Trace nearly two minutes into the action.
Ritenour scored two and Reisinger scored two in the first quarter for the Lady Panthers.
At the end of the first quarter, Miami Trace was in front, 6-5.
It took nearly three minutes off the clock before Miami Trace scored first in the second quarter with a free throw by Ritenour.
Ritenour made two more free throws and Wolffe scored with 3:40 to play until the half to give Miami Trace an 11-5 lead.
Bryant scored two more baskets to give Miami Trace a 15-9 lead with 1:24 to play until the intermission.
New Philadelphia scored the last four points, including two at the buzzer, to make the halftime score Miami Trace 15, New Philadelphia 13.
As it did in the first two quarters, it took a while for someone to score to begin the second half.
Finally, New Philadelphia tied the game, 15-15 with 5:05 to play in the third.
The Quakers took a 17-15 lead, answered by Fliehman’s three, putting Miami Trace back on top, 18-17. Bryant followed with a basket for a 20-17 Panthers lead.
New Philadelphia scored the final six points of the third quarter to take a 23-20 lead into the final stanza.
Miami Trace did not take very long to get back into the lead.
Bryant scored and then McDonald to make it 24-23, Miami Trace.
From there, the lead changed hands twice until Miami Trace went back in front, 28-25 with four points from Bryant with 3:43 to play.
One could feel the tension mounting as time became ever more crucial.
New Philadelphia missed on its next three possessions, and suffered two turnovers that helped keep the Lady Panthers in the lead as time wound down.
Miami Trace fared little better, offensively, nursing the tenuous three-point lead. The Lady Panthers exacerbated the situation with a couple of turnovers.
Finally, with 56.9 seconds, Bryant made 1 of 2 from the line to make it 29-25.
New Philadelphia went 1 of 2 from the line with 39.5 seconds left to make it 29-26, Miami Trace.
Miami Trace missed the front end of a one and bonus.
New Philadelphia made two throws from the line with 16 seconds remaining for a 29-28 score.
Here’s where things got even more interesting.
Miami Trace was attempting to inbound the ball.
After the first attempt to inbound the ball failed, Miami Trace was awarded a second chance.
This time, there was an intentional foul called as one of the New Philadephia players was called for touching a Miami Trace player while she was still out of bounds, trying to get the ball in.
There was a discussion among the officials and Bryant went to the line for two free throws. Miami Trace would still have possession after the attempts.
Bryant missed the first throw and then a technical foul was called on New Philadelphia’s coach.
Bryant made the next throw and then had two more free throws, which she made to give the Lady Panthers a 32-28 lead.
Miami Trace got the ball in and Fliehman was fouled. She missed both attempts, but New Philadelphia turned the ball over on the offensive end.
Ritenour went to the line and made 1 of 2 with 8.3 seconds left.
New Philadelphia missed a final shot attempt that secured the 33-28 Miami Trace lead.
“It definitely wasn’t pretty,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “But, we’ll certainly take it. The kids showed a lot of resilency. I made a couple of calls tonight that really put us in a bad position. I really didn’t do a very good job of managing the game and putting our kids in great spots tonight.
“I want to give props to Hanna, Cass and Shay, because they handled the pressure,” Ackley said. “Tanner handled the ball quite a bit. It always gets hot in the kitchen late in the season in a one or two possession game and man, this time of year, it gets real hot.”
Miami Trace will have to improve from the free throw line if they hope to reach the State tournament. The Lady Panthers were 10 of 20 from the line Tuesday.
Miami Trace shot 31 percent from the floor (11 of 35) while New Philadelphia struggled even more, going 9 of 35 for 26 percent.
Bryant, Fliehman and Ritenour shared the rebounding lead for Miami Trace, each with six. McDonald had five rebounds. McDonald led the team with three assists.
Tickets for Miami Trace’s Regional championship game back at Zanesville High School Friday at 7:30 p.m. will be on sale at MTHS from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and on Friday from 9 a.m. until noon.
Tickets are $7 and the school gets to keep a portion of the proceeds from pre-sale tickets.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 6 9 5 13 — 33
NP 5 8 10 5 — 28
MIAMI TRACE — Olivia Wolffe 1-0-2; Cassidy Lovett 0-0-0; Hanna Reisinger 1-0-2; Shaylee McDonald 1-0-2; Morgan Miller 0-0-0; Victoria Fliehman 0 (1)-0-3; Tanner Bryant 6-6-18; Samantha Ritenour 1-4-6. TOTALS — 10 (1)-10-33. Free throw shooting: 10 of 20 for 50 percent. Three-point field goal: Fliehman. Combined field goal shooting: 11 of 35 for 31 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 8 for 13 percent. Rebounds: 32 (13 offensive). Turnovers: 15. Assists: 6. Steals: 3. Personal fouls: 15.
NEW PHILADELPHIA — Kate McEwan 0-0-0; Meg Maurer 0-0-0; Lexee Miller 2-5-9; Rachael Anderson 1(1)-0-5; Aaiyah Currence 4-0-8; Josie Pry 0-0-0; Akyna Hastine 1-0-2; Sarah Harr 0-4-4. TOTALS — 8 (1)-9-28. Free throw shooting: 9 of 12 for 75 percent. Three-point field goal: Anderson. Combined field goal shooting: 9 of 35 for 26 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 9 for 11 percent. Turnovers: 12.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1