CIRCLEVILLE — The Miami Trace Panthers opened the 2018-19 basketball season with a non-conference game against old SCOL opponent Circleville Friday in CHS’ four-year-old gymnasium.
The Panthers battled throughout the contest, but the Tigers were able to hold on for a 54-49 victory.
Austin Mathews led the Panthers offensively with 16 points.
Trevor Barker scored 11, Kyler Conn had nine and Austin Brown scored eight points. Barker made it a double-double with 11 rebounds. He also led the game with five assists.
Brown led the game with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
The game’s leading scorer was Riley Gibson who poured in 26 points for the Tigers.
Jay Styers scored 10 and Conner Jones added eight points.
The first basket of the game was a three-point field goal by Mathews.
Circleville took a 4-3 lead and then the game was tied momentarily with a free throw by Conn.
The Tigers pulled ahead to an 18-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Circleville’s lead fluctuated between four and six points in the second quarter.
The Tigers held a 28-22 halftime lead.
The Panthers had their best quarter in the third.
Circleville led by as many as nine points before the Panthers began chipping away in earnest.
Miami Trace tied the game, 33-33 with 2:48 to play in the third quarter.
The Panthers took a 37-35 lead on a basket from Conn with just over one minute remaining in the third.
The Tigers knotted the score, 37-37 by the time the quarter ended.
An 8-0 run gave a boost to the Tigers to start the fourth quarter.
Miami Trace was able to pull to within two points at 45-43 with 3:33 to play in the contest.
The Tigers bumped their lead back to as many as eight points before time expired with Circleville notching a 54-49 victory.
“We were really pleased from an effort standpoint,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “In that first quarter, what you saw was a lot of first-time varsity players just trying to get their feet wet. There was a lot of anxiety out there. That was a big reason we got down; we were disjointed. We had guys not knowing where they were supposed to be in some of our actions. We were lost defensively a little bit.
“I thought we shook that off in the second quarter and got back into it,” Pittser said. “The things that we put in place at halftime, the adjustments we made offensively and defensively, they took in and they listened. We finished the third quarter tied.
“It was really pleasing to see all of those things, even in a loss,” Pittser said.
Miami Trace out-rebounded Circleville, 37 to 31, including 11 offensive rebounds.
Miami Trace returns to Pickaway County Tuesday to take on the Logan Elm Braves.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 8 14 15 12 — 49
C 18 10 9 17 — 54
MIAMI TRACE — Cameron Moore 1-0-2; Trevor Barker 3 (1)-2-11; Austin Mathews 6 (1)-1-16; Dylan Bernard 1-0-2; Kyler Conn 3-3-9; Austin Brown 3-2-8; Logan Rodgers 0-1-1. TOTALS — 17 (2)-9-49. Free throw shooting: 9 of 16 for 56 percent. Three-point field goals: Barker, Mathews. Field goal shooting: 19 of 54 for 35 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 13 for 15 percent. Rebounds: 37 (11 offensive). Assists: 9. Steals: 9. Blocks: 9. Turnovers: 15. Personal fouls 16. Bench points: 3. Second chance points: 0. Points off turnovers: 15.
CIRCLEVILLE — Conner Jones 4-0-8; Riley Gibson 10 (2)-0-26; Evan Justice 1-2-4; Garrett Gray 0-0-0; Brandon Parr 2-0-4; Ethan Moore 1-0-2; Darcell Picket 0-0-0; Jay Styers 2 (1)-3-10. TOTALS — 20 (3)-5-54. Free throw shooting: 5 of 9 for 56 percent. Three-point field goals: Gibson, 2; Styers. Field goal shooting: 23 of 51 for 45 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 14 for 21 percent. Rebounds: 31 (5 offensive). Assists: 9. Steals: 6. Blocks: 1. Turnovers: 16. Personal fouls: 16. Bench points: 54. Second chance points: 4. Points off turnovers: 15.