Former South Central Ohio League rivals met on the hardwood at Miami Trace High School Wednesday night when the Panthers welcomed the Falcons of Clinton-Massie High School.
In a game the Panthers led most of the way, the Falcons took a one-point lead with 3:15 to play in the fourth quarter.
The lead changed hands twice more, with the Falcons pulling out a hard-fought 55-54 victory.
Miami Trace senior Darby Tyree was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points. He hit four three-point field goals and had a double-double with 11 rebounds. He also had four assists and three blocked shots.
Junior Austin Brown was also in double figures with 14 points for the Panthers.
Falcon junior Thomas Myers scored 21 points and doubled up with 10 rebounds.
Senior Trey Uetrecht scored 18 points and also turned in a double-double performance with 10 rebounds.
In point of fact, rebounding was quite key in this game, with the Falcons having a decided edge.
Miami Trace had 23 rebounds, just one of those coming off the offensive boards.
The Falcons had 36 rebounds, including 12 on the offensive side.
The teams shot the ball equally well from the field.
Clinton-Massie went 24 of 59 for 40 percent, while Miami Trace connected on 19 of 48 shots for 39 percent.
After an early exchange of the lead, the Panthers rolled out to a 13-4 advantage with 3:43 to play in the first quarter.
Clinton-Massie outscored the Miami Trace, 11-2 to close out the initial period with game tied, 15-15.
After a quick bucket from the Falcons, the Panthers went on a 12-0 run to go in front, 27-17 with just under three minutes remaining in the half.
The Panthers were in front, 29-22 at the halftime break.
Miami Trace thrice led by as many as nine points in the third quarter before the frame ended with the Panthers holding a 41-35 lead.
The Panthers led by eight points, 46-38 with 6:29 to play in the game.
From that point forward, the Falcons outscored Miami Trace, 17-8 to take the one point victory.
“Our kids, similar to what we’ve been doing the last few games, shot the ball well early,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “We built a lead. Unfortunately, we gave the lead back. I shouldn’t say we gave the lead back. We played pretty well tonight.
“(Clinton-Massie) is pretty athletic,” Pittser said. “They have size. They have strength. They have kids who play championship calibre in other sports. When you have kids who are that used to winning, it’s a grind. They just kept coming and coming at us.
“We’ve been on the positive end of some of these close games (recently),” Pittser said. “We’ve been pretty fortunate. Tonight, it was our turn to be on the wrong side of things. Hopefully we can get refocused and come out and play well Saturday.”
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to start out,” Clinton-Massie head coach Todd Cook said. “I think we were within seven points most of the game. I kept on saying, ‘we need to get it down to about three.’
“We came into the fourth quarter down by six,” Cook said. “That was about the least deficit that we had. I felt that we were wearing them down. They don’t have a lot of subs. They rely on the two guys (Tyree and Cameron Carter) who are phenomenal basketball players.
“We kept on attacking the basket,” Cook said. “We got some breaks in the fourth quarter and it’s just great to come out with a one-point win.”
The Panthers (now 6-6 overall) will host Dayton Stivers Saturday with the freshman game tipping off at 4:45 p.m.
The Falcons (now 3-1 overall) will open league play Friday at Goshen.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 15 14 12 13 — 54
C-M 15 7 13 20 — 55
MIAMI TRACE — Darby Tyree 4 (4)-2-22; Austin Brown 5-4-14; Cameron Carter 2-4-8; Brett Lewis 1 (1)-1-6; Heath Cockerill 1-0-2; Austin Mathews 1-0-2; Dakota Bolton 0-0-0; Matt Fender 0-0-0. TOTALS — 14 (5)-11-54. Free throw shooting: 11 of 14 for 78 percent. Three-point field goals: Tyree, 4; Lewis. Combined field goal shooting: 19 of 48 for 39 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 5 of 21 for 23 percent. Rebounds: 23 (1 offensive). Assists: 10. Steals: 11. Blocks: 5. Turnovers: 12. Personal fouls: 13. Bench points: 2. Second chance points: 2. Points off turnovers: 4.
CLINTON-MASSIE — Thomas Myers 9-3-21; Trey Uetrecht 8-2-18; Zach Chowning 1 (1)-0-5; Daulton Wolfe 1 (1)-0-5; Griffin Laake 2-0-4; Tate Olberding 1-0-2; Drew Settlemyre 0-0-0; Tanner Olberding 0-0-0; Jacob Campbell 0-0-0. TOTALS — 22 (2)-5-55. Free throw shooting: 5 of 9 for 55 percent. Three-point field goals: Chowning, Wolfe. Combined field goal shooting: 24 of 59 for 40 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 18 for 11 percent. Rebounds: 36 (12 offensive). Assists: 12. Steals: 9. Blocks: 2. Turnovers: 14. Personal fouls: 16. Bench points: 7. Second chance points: 12. Points off turnovers: 6.