LEES CREEK —Miami Trace (1-1) posted its first victory of the season Tuesday night, defeating East Clinton High School, 68-55 in South Central Ohio League action at Lees Creek.
The Astros fall to 1-1 after opening the season with a 61-51 win over Paint Valley Saturday in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic.
DeAndre Pettiford led the Panther scoring attack with 21 points. The Miami Trace junior guard accounted for 15 points in the second half, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Tyrae Pettiford added 15 points, including nine in the first half.
Darby Tyree came off the bench scoring 11 points, including three field goals in the third period when the Panthers outscored EC by a 16-12 margin, stretching their lead to 42-35.
The Panthers capitalized at the free throw line in the final period, converting 12 of 19 attempts after the Astros chipped away and cut the deficit to three points, 46-43, with 5:30 to play in regulation.
“We really stepped up and knocked them down when it counted,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “After they made their run and made it close, we did a good job on our sets and got into attack mode and took it to the basket, especially DeAndre. He took it to the paint and made some great shots for us. We were fortunate that he knocked down those free throws (five of seven attempts) in the fourth period.”
The first half was a much different story, however as the Panthers struggled at the charity stripe, hitting just three of eight attempts. Miami Trace led at halftime, 26-23, after the Astros held a one-point lead at the first quarter break, 13-12.
For the Astros, senior Brian Barnes was the top scorer with 15 points (10 coming in the second half), while sophomore Wyatt Floyd followed with 14 points. Non-starter J. T. McCarren added 8 points for the Astros.
East Clinton head coach Tony Berlin cited the most frustrating aspect of the game — his squad’s inability to protect the basketball.
“You can’t win turning it over like we did. Those 24 turnovers tonight just killed us,” said Berlin. “Allowing 68 points is way too many for us and we’ve got to do a better job defensively. As for the kids, I felt their effort was great and we played hard. It’s still early and they’re still learning (the system) and we’ll keep working on our strengths. I felt our pressure was great and the press really got us back in the game. Unfortunately, they capitalized at the free throw line when we put them there.”
Miami Trace is idle until Tuesday when they will host the Wilmington Hurricane in SCOL action. East Clinton has a pair of home contests this weekend, hosting Hillsboro in SCOL action Friday night, then Greeneview on Saturday.
Miami Trace 68 East Clinton 55
MT 12 14 16 26 – 68
EC 13 10 12 20 – 55
(68) MIAMI TRACE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Tyrae Pettiford 6-0-3-15 Creamer 1-1-0-3 Pittser 1-1-2-5 Batson 0-0-0-0 Card 0-0-0-0 DeAndre Pettiford 8-0-5-21 Carter 2-0-1-5 McDonald 1-0-2-4 Leach 1-0-0-2 Bryant 0-0-2-2 Tyree 5-0-1-11. TOTALS 25-2-16-68
(55) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jenkins 0-0-4-4 Blair 2-0-0-4 Barnes 4-0-7-15 Floyd 6-1-1-14 DJ Luttrell 1-0-0-2 Campbell 2-0-2-6 McCarren 4-0-0-8 Mercer 0-0-0-0 Moskal 1-0-0-2 Paul Luttrell 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 20-1-14-55
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