The Miami Trace Panthers were looking for their first win of the season when they hosted the 2018 McDonald’s Holiday Basketball Classic in the Panther Pit Thursday night.
It will be the final holiday tournament to be held in the storied, old gymnasium.
The Panthers indeed picked up their first win of the 2018-19 campaign, 56-48 over the Rams.
Miami Trace (1-7) will now take on 7-1 London for the championship of the tournament Saturday at 8 p.m.
In the consolation game, it will be Greeneview taking on Madison Plains.
London rolled to a 79-30 win over the Golden Eagles.
The consolation game tips off at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Thursday’s game did not start with the customary tip-off at center court.
Rather it was Miami Trace junior Trevor Barker going to the foul line to shoot a pair of technical foul shots.
Apparently, one of the Greeneview players dunked the ball during warm-ups, which is a violation.
After the two free throws, the Panthers had the ball out of bounds.
The game was tied at 2, 4 and 6 before a 7-2 run by the Panthers put Miami Trace into the lead, 13-8.
At the end of the first quarter of play, Miami Trace was in front, 13-11.
The Panthers twice led by as many as seven points in the second quarter before exiting to the locker room with a 26-21 halftime lead.
Miami Trace again led by as many as seven points twice in the third quarter before Greeneview cut the margin to three at 35-32 after three quarters.
The Panthers held a six-point lead in the early part of the fourth quarter.
Greeneview was not going to go quietly, however.
The Rams slowly chipped away and regained the lead at 46-45 with 2:24 to play in the game.
Senior Austin Brown scored the next five points for the Panthers to put Miami Trace back in front, 50-46.
The Panthers made their last six free throws and the Rams hit a final basket with 31 seconds remaining to set the final tally at 56-48.
“We tried to emphasize that we had been through one round of the league,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “This is a little bit of a new season. When you host a tournament, it’s kind of a special deal.
“We were hoping to clean the slate a little bit,” Pittser said. “We actually instituted some new continuity on offense that was good to us. They did the things we implore them to do to have a chance to win. We guarded well enough. We rebounded pretty well, but, the big thing, our turnover number was more what it needed to be. That means we had more chances to score, more chances to get a lead and keep a lead.
“There was definitely a wall to break though there tonight,” Pittser said. “We were not real pleased to see us give up the lead there in the fourth quarter, but we were real pleased to get it back. And then, to be able to close out the game when we have not been able to close out a game to this point was a big deal.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 13 13 9 21 — 56
G 11 10 11 16 — 48
MIAMI TRACE — Austin Brown 8-2-18; Trevor Barker 3 (1)-6-15; Kyler Conn 2 (1)-2-9; Austin Mathews 0 (3)-0-9; Cameron Moore 0 (1)-0-3; Logan Rodgers 1-0-2; Dylan Bernard 0-0-0; Cody Brightman 0-0-0. TOTALS — 14 (6)-10-56. Free throw shooting: 10 of 11 for 91 percent. Three-point field goals: Mathews, 3; Barker, Conn, Moore. Field goal shooting: 20 of 44 for 45 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 6 of 13 for 46 percent. Rebounds: 26 (7 offensive). Assists: 13. Steals: 4. Blocks: 2. Turnovers: 14. Personal fouls: 11. Bench points: 5. Second chance points: 4. Points off turnovers: 7.
GREENEVIEW — Cole Allen 7 (1)-4-21; Collin Wilson 4-2-10; Gabe Caudill 4-0-8; Ian Tamplin 1-2-4; Braydan Dobney 0 (1)-0-3; David Lehotay 1-0-2; Brayden Roseman 0-0-0; Jack Nix 0-0-0. TOTALS — 17 (2)-8-48. Free throw shooting: 8 of 8 for 100 percent. Three-point field goals: Allen, Dobney. Field goal shooting: 19 of 48 for 39 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 16 for 12 percent. Rebounds: 22 (6 offensive). Assists: 10. Steals: 2. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 8. Personal fouls: 14. Bench points: 5. Second chance points: 2. Points off turnovers: 4.