It was a big afternoon and evening of rivalry basketball, Fayette County style, as Miami Trace visited a festive Washington High School to complete the first round of the Frontier Athletic Conference schedule.
A large crowd turned out the Saturday before Christmas to watch four games of basket and the play was spirited and very well received.
It was especially so if you were on the side rooting for the Blue Lions, as Washington made a sweep of the games.
The Washington Lady Blue Lions got the win in the girls’ varsity game, taking sole possession of first place in the Frontier Athletic Conference with a 55-41 victory over the Lady Panthers.
The updated standings through Saturday’s conference play have Washington at the top at 5-0.
McClain is second at 4-2, followed by Miami Trace at 3-2. Chillicothe is 2-3, Jackson is 1-4 and Hillsboro is 0-5.
The rematch will be at Miami Trace on Saturday, Feb. 9.
McClain will play at Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
Washington will be playing three games in Florida Dec. 26-28.
Washington’s scoring was balanced with three players reaching double figures, led by senior Hannah Haithcock with 21 points.
Juniors Rayana Burns (14) and Shawna Conger (11) provided a solid follow and senior Bre Taylor added seven.
Junior Shay McDonald led Miami Trace with 19 points.
Senior Becca Ratliff was next with eight points and sophomore Gracee Stewart and freshman Emma Pitstick both contributed five points.
The Blue Lions debuted new grey and blue uniforms for the varsity boys game with the Panthers wearing what would normally be their home white uniforms.
Washington won the first quarter and each successive quarter to post a 65-40 victory.
Washington currently leads the Frontier Athletic Conference standing on the boys side at 4-1.
Chillicothe is in second place at 3-1 after defeating Jackson Saturday, 53-35.
Jackson is tied for third place with McClain, both at 3-2. The Tigers defeated Hillsboro Saturday, 55-41 to bump the Indians to fifth at 1-3.
Miami Trace is now 0-5 in the conference.
Senior Dillon Steward was the game’s leading scorer for Washington with 18 points.
Senior Omar Porter scored 12 and senior Richie Burns scored nine.
Senior Evan Upthegrove and junior Drew Moats both added six points for Washington.
For the Panthers, junior Trevor Barker led with 13 points.
Senior Austin Brown scored 11 and sophomore Dylan Bernard had seven points.
The table was set by the girls’ junior-varsity game.
Miami Trace held an 18-9 lead at the end of three quarters of play.
Washington outscored Miami Trace 15-6 in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 24-24.
It would go into a second overtime period where Washington won by a final 38-33.
Washington was led by Jeleeya Tyree-Smith who scored 20 points, including 7 of 10 from the line in the fourth quarter and two overtimes.
Aaralyne Estep scored eight points for Washington.
Emma Pitstick led Miami Trace with 16 points (including 6 of 7 free throws) and Magarah Bloom had 10 points.
Miami Trace is now 4-4 overall, 3-2 in the FAC.
Washington won the junior-varsity boys game, 37-33.
Miguel O’Flaherty was the game’s leading scorer for Washington with 12 points.
Mitch Lotz scored 10 for the Blue Lions.
Colin Farrens led the Panthers with 10 points.
Braden Osborne scored nine and Ethan Steele had eight points.
Washington is now 2-4 overall, 1-4 in the FAC.
Washington High School Principal Tracy Rose had one of those possibly once in a lifetime moments Saturday night, (perhaps they’ll try again when the teams play at Miami Trace) of making a shot from half-court in front of a very large holiday crowd that won the prize of several pizzas that were quickly handed out to Washington students. Rose’s bucket followed the effort of Miami Trace High School Principal Rob Enochs, whose attempt missed off to the right.
There will be more coverage of these games in an upcoming edition of the Record-Herald.