CHILLICOTHE — The Miami Trace Lady Panthers took on the No. 1 seed in the Division II District tournament, Vinton County, Thursday at Southeastern High School.
Vinton County came into the tournament with a record of 20-1.
The Lady Vikes shot the ball well from everywhere but the free throw line and it was good enough for a 53-39 victory.
It was unfortunately a tough shooting night for Miami Trace as they went 17 of 58 from the field for 29 percent.
Vinton County made 22 of 46 field goal attempts for 48 percent, including 9 of 19 from three-point range for 47 percent.
Vinton County began the game with an 11-0 run and never trailed.
Junior Shay McDonald was the game’s leading scorer for Miami Trace with 21 points.
Senior Olivia Wolffe had 10 points, sophomores Magarah Bloom and Gracee Stewart each scored three points and sophomore Delaney Eakins scored two points.
Lacie Williams led Vinton County with 19 points, including five threes (four of those coming in the second half).
Morgan Bentley had 14 points, Josie Ousley scored nine, Cameron Zinn had seven and Tegan Bartoe chipped in four.
Vinton County went 0 of 8 from the free throw line and Miami Trace was 0 of 2 from stripe, making it a rare game where no free throws were converted.
Vinton County brought a tremendous fan base with them, taking up pretty much one side of the gym at SEHS.
The Lady Vikes played the game with an intensity and tenacity the likes of which perhaps Miami Trace had not faced during the season.
Vinton County continuously pressed and trapped whomever had the ball for Miami Trace.
It was an extremely disruptive type of defense that made Miami Trace have to work very hard at times just to keep possession of the ball.
In spite of that intense pressure, Miami Trace did get a total of 58 shots at the basket, making 17 for 29 percent. The Lady Panthers inexplicably missed an inordinate amount of close-in shots.
Miami Trace had 38 rebounds in the game, including 15 offensive.
Senior Cassidy Lovett and Wolffe shared the team lead with eight rebounds each. Wolffe had six offensive rebounds and Lovett had four, which was two more combined than Vinton County had.
McDonald had seven rebounds and sophomore Gracee Stewart had five.
Stewart broke the ice for Miami Trace with a three-point basket with 1:34 to play in the first quarter.
A bucket from McDonald set the score at 11-5 after one quarter of play.
Vinton County led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter before taking a 23-14 lead into the locker room.
The Lady Vikes led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter. At the end of three, it was 40-26 in favor of Vinton County.
Miami Trace got to within eight points in the fourth quarter, but at one time trailed by 18 before time expired with a final tally on the board of 53-39.
“We knew coming in this would be a game of tempo,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “They had a tempo (at which) they wanted to play; we had a tempo (at which) we wanted to play. We thought that would be the determining factor in the outcome.
“I thought they did a very good job of forcing tempo,” Ackley said. “We had some very uncharacteristic mistakes tonight. We had kids get sped up a little bit. Give credit to Vinton County. We haven’t been sped up like that all year. We thought we had a good game plan coming in; maybe it wasn’t so good. We knew they were going to press us and trap us and do some different things. We just didn’t handle it real well. We didn’t want to play that tempo and we ended up playing a lot more of their tempo than they played of ours.
“We missed three or four point-blank shots there in the first few minutes,” Ackley said. “It seemed like we’d miss a lay-up and they’d make a lay-up in transition.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our kids,” Ackley said. “They kept fighting and fighting and fighting. Tonight just wasn’t our night, but, they didn’t give up. I couldn’t be more proud of Cassidy Lovett, Olivia Wolffe, Lena Steele, Becca Ratliff and Tori Evans. What a group of seniors. They’ve been a part of a Final Four. They’ve been a part of three straight Sectional championships, three league championships, a gold basketball.
“They’re all going to college next year to continue their education,” Ackley said. “This is my ninth time (saying good-bye) to seniors. They’ll always be a part of what we are.”
Miami Trace ends the season with a record of 16-8.
Vinton County (21-1) plays Washington (19-5) for the District championship Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at Southeastern H.S.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 5 9 12 13 — 39
VC 11 12 17 13 — 53
MIAMI TRACE — Olivia Wolffe 2 (2)-0-10; Cassidy Lovett 0-0-0; Becca Ratliff 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 9 (1)-0-21; Tori Evans 0-0-0; Magarah Bloom 0 (1)-0-3; Libby Aleshire 0-0-0; Reagan Barton 0-0-0; Gracee Stewart 0 (1)-0-3; Emma Pitstick 0-0-0; Lena Steele 0-0-0; Delaney Eakins 1-0-2. TOTALS — 12 (5)-0-39. Free throw shooting: 0 of 2. Three-point field goals: Wolffe, 2; McDonald, Bloom, Stewart. Field goal shooting: 17 of 58 for 29 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 5 of 21 for 24 percent. Rebounds: 38 (15 offensive). Turnovers: 20. Assists: 5. Steals: 13. Fouls: 11.
VINTON COUNTY — Emily Jones 0-0-0; Abriana McManis 0-0-0; Josie Ousley 3 (1)-0-9; Tegan Bartoe 2-0-4; Morgan Bentley 4 (2)-0-14; Lacie Williams 2 (5)-0-19; Cameron Zinn 2 (1)-0-7; Rylee Ousley 0-0-0. TOTALS — 13 (9)-0-53. Free throw shooting: 0 of 8. Three-point field goals: Williams, 5; Bentley, 2; J. Ousley, Zinn. Field goal shooting: 22 of 46 for 48 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 9 of 19 for 47 percent. Turnovers: 15. Offensive rebounds: 8.
Thanks to Karl Kellenberger, the Miami Trace scorebook keeper, for all of the stats and percentages once again this season.