Since the days of President John F. Kennedy, there have been basketball games played at the Panther Pit on the campus of Miami Trace High School.
On Friday evening, that six-decade run came to an end as the Panthers hosted the Jackson Ironmen in a Frontier Athletic Conference match-up with second place on the line.
Jackson ended up spoiling the final-ever boys game for the Panthers, pulling out a tough 42-37 victory.
Miami Trace is now 6-3 in the FAC.
Panther senior Darby Tyree was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points. He had a double-double with 11 rebounds.
Senior Cameron Carter had eight points and six rebounds and junior Austin Brown scored six points.
Senior Payton Speakman led Jackson with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore Brice Graham had 11 points and junior Carson Spohn scored nine points.
The Panthers led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter and 21-19 at halftime.
The Panthers took a 34-28 lead after three quarters of play.
However, the fourth quarter saw Jackson fight back, outscoring the Panthers 14-3 to take the win.
“Obviously, you hate to lose on senior night,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “And you really hate to lose the last game in this gym.
“It was a good high school basketball game,” Pittser said. “They are a very resilient, tough, well-coached team. Even though we were able to lead the majority of the game, they were able to hang around and hang around.
“We were never able to build a multi-possession lead,” Pittser said. “They made a couple of plays late and we fell short on a couple possessions and that’s the game.
“We didn’t take bad shots,” Pittser said. “We didn’t have a bunch of turnovers. They made a couple of free throws and shots late and we missed a couple of free throws and shots late.
“In a tightly-contested game, that was certainly the difference,” Pittser said. “I loved the way we guarded and I loved our energy. Hopefully, we can continue that the rest of the season.”
“We had a big fourth quarter,” Jackson head coach Max Morrow said. “We made timely free throws. Our guys just came together and played really hard. It was a great team win.”
Jackson is now 12-6 overall, 7-2 in the FAC with a game remaining against Chillicothe.
Jackson will host Waverly Tuesday night.
Miami Trace will be in action tonight at Unioto.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 10 11 13 3 — 37
J 8 11 9 14 — 42
MIAMI TRACE — Darby Tyree 5 (2)-5-21; Cameron Carter 1 (2)-0-8; Austin Brown 3-0-6; Austin Mathews 1-0-2; Brett Lewis 0-0-0; Dakota Bolton 0-0-0; Heath Cockerill 0-0-0; Jacob Atwood 0-0-0; Wyatt Cory 0-0-0; Matt Fender 0-0-0; Adam Ginn 0-0-0. TOTALS — 10 (4)-5-37. Free throw shooting: 5 of 8 for 62 percent. Three-point field goals: Tyree, 2; Carter, 2. Combined field goal shooting: 14 of 47 for 29 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 17 for 23 percent. Rebounds: 25 (6 offensive). Assists: 10. Steals: 9. Blocks: 4. Turnovers: 14. Personal fouls: 15. Bench points: 8. Second chance points: 5. Points off turnovers: 4.
JACKSON — Payton Speakman 3 (2)-0-12; Brice Graham 5-1-11; Carson Spohn 0 (1)-6-9; Traylon Davis 2-3-7; Caleb Wallis 0 (1)-0-3; Caden Donaldson 0-0-0; Kendall Neal 0-0-0. TOTALS — 10 (4)-10-42. Free throw shooting: 10 of 12 for 83 percent. Three-point field goals: Speakman, 2; Spohn, Wallis. Combined field goal shooting: 14 of 38 for 36 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 14 for 28 percent. Rebounds: 26 (5 offensive). Assists: 10. Steals: 7. Blocks: 1. Turnovers: 16. Personal fouls: 11. Bench poins: 0. Second chance points: 4. Points off turnovers: 6.