FRANKFORT — Coming off what head coach Ben Ackley said was not a particularly good practice Tuesday, the Miami Trace Lady Panthers nevertheless notched their 20th win of the season, opening play in the Division II Sectional Wednesday night, 55-26 over the Lady Tigers of Waverly High School.
Miami Trace, now 20-3 (it is the fourth time in the last six years that the Lady Panthers have reached the 20-win mark) will play the winner of the second game of the night, Chillicothe going up against Circleville, for a Sectional championship Saturday at 1 p.m. back at Adena High School.
The defense played by Miami Trace in the first, third and fourth quarters was stifling.
Waverly scored four points in each of those periods for a total of 12 points to go along with 14 points they scored in the second quarter.
For the first time in her varsity career, junior Becca Ratliff shared game-high scoring honors — in this case with sophomore Shay McDonald — both players scoring 13 points. Ratliff came off the bench and hit three three-point field goals.
Juniors Olivia Wolffe and Cassidy Lovett each added seven points.
Freshman Zoiee Smith led Waverly with six points.
“We were a little lethargic, at times,” Ackley said. “Tanner had an off-night, offensively. I thought she played good defense and rebounded the ball extremely well.” Bryant scored three points and led the Lady Panthers with nine rebounds and four assists.
“Becca Ratliff and Shay McDonald scored the ball well,” Ackley said. “I thought Cass hit some big shots and Olivia Wolffe just continues to get better with every game.”
It was a slow start for both teams.
Waverly scored first one minute and 15 seconds into the game.
The Lady Panthers hit their first bucket at the 5:48 mark of the period.
Slow though it was, things built steadily for Miami Trace and before long they were leading, 16-2.
The score stood at 18-4 after the first period.
Waverly was able to chip away at that deficit and drew to within nine points, which was the margin at the half, 27-18.
The Lady Panthers controlled the second half, outscoring Waverly 15-4 in the third quarter to go in front 42-22.
The fourth quarter saw Miami Trace bring all of its players into the game. The Lady Panthers had 13 players take part in the game.
It was 13-4 in favor of Miami Trace in the fourth quarter.
“We’ll have our hands full, regardless of who wins this game,” Ackley said, awaiting the start of the night’s second game. “Both of these teams are big and physical. They’ll both be very prepared and they know us very well.”
Ticket information: Tickets for Miami Trace’s Sectional championship game, to be played Saturday at Adena High School at 1 p.m., are on sale today and Friday, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
A portion of the proceeds from the tickets that Miami Trace sells stays with MTHS.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 18 9 15 13 — 55
W 4 14 4 4 — 26
MIAMI TRACE — Olivia Wolffe 3-1-7; Cassidy Lovett 2 (1)-0-7; Becca Ratliff 2 (3)-0-13; Aubrey McCoy 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 4 (1)-2-13; Tori Evans 1 (1)-0-5; Olivia Fliehman 0-2-2; Tanner Bryant 1-1-3; Magarah Bloom 0-0-0; Gracee Stewart 1-0-2; Morgan Miller 1-1-3; Reagan Barton 0-0-0; Krissy Ison 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (6)-7-55. Free throw shooting: 7 of 11 for 64 percent. Three-point field goals: Ratliff, 3; Lovett, Evans, McDonald. Combined field goal shooting: 21 of 63 for 33 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 6 of 21 for 29 percent. Rebounds: 34 (18 offensive). Turnovers: 9. Assists: 11. Steals: 13. Personal fouls: 8.
WAVERLY — Loren Moran 0-0-0; Kami Knight 1-2-4; Kiara Smith 0-0-0; Carli Knight 2-0-4; Maddy Collett 0-0-0; Michaela Rhoads 0-0-0; Raelynn Dale 1-0-2; Morgan Wiseman 1 (1)-0-5; Zoiee Smith 2-2-6; Hannah Robinson 1 (1)-0-5; Hailey Robinson 0-0-0. TOTALS — 8 (2)-4-26. Free throw shooting: 4 of 8 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Wiseman, Ha. Robinson. Combined field goal shooting: 10 of 32 for 31 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 10 for 20 percent. Offensive rebounds: 4. Turnovers: 25.