HILLSBORO — It was a slow start for both the Miami Trace and Hillsboro boys basketball teams on Friday night in the Hillsboro High School gymnasium.
Miami Trace, however, was able to find their stride in the South Central Ohio League matchup and come away with the 51-43 victory.
The first half as a whole was a struggle for both teams, especially in the second quarter as they combined for only 11 points in the eight minutes of play. Miami Trace had the lead going into the half but the game was well within reach for the Indians only down three points with a 20-17 score.
The Panthers came out of the half on a roll against the Indians and the third quarter was the deciding one in the game as Miami Trace started the second half on a 11-4 run through the opening portion of the period.
Hillsboro was able to close the distance somewhat with good post play from DJ Brown and a clutch three pointer from Jacob Deatley with just four seconds left in the quarter. Even so, the Indians saw themselves down by eight going into the final quarter.
The two teams played even in the fourth quarter, each adding 15 points to their totals. The Panthers used disciplined ball movement to play a game of keep away from the Indians, who in turn had no choice but to foul to conserve time.
Even though Miami Trace was only 4 of 8 from the free throw line in the quarter, it was enough to hold off the Indians and the Panthers brought home the win with a final of 51-43.
“Our kids played hard defensively and we were able to extend the floor a little bit tonight,” said Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser after the win. “We tried to get after it in a full court man situation tonight and if you’re willing to do that, you better play hard or you’re going to give up some easy baskets. We were hoping that that effort would result in some easy looks on the other end but it didn’t, so we were a little frustrated with that, but the kids were giving really good effort and that’s the big thing.”
“We know what Miami Trace is going to do defensively in the full court and half court,” said Hillsboro coach Bruce Miles. “That’s kind of their game and we didn’t do a very good job at all tonight of handling their full-court pressure. I don’t know how many turnovers we had officially, but it was a bunch.
“As bad as we played in the first half, we were right there at halftime with a three-point game,” Miles said. “I think we did a decent job in the half court defensively in the first half but obviously in the second half, the Pittser kid (Blake) had a really nice game. He broke us down on the dribble. We did a poor job of keeping him in front of us which left him open for some nice pull ups, and he also had some nice kick outs to his guys for three and that really hurt us.
“We really didn’t get a chance to get the ball down to our big guys tonight and that’s Miami Trace’s style,” Miles said. “They didn’t let us do that. We never really got to run any half court offense because of what they were doing. We didn’t handle it very well at all. Credit goes to their guys because they did a really good job of getting their hands in passing lanes and making it hard for us.”
“We play a really talented team on Tuesday in Washington and we’ll get in the gym tomorrow morning and start working on ways to slow their guys down.”
Miami Trace (now 2-2 overall, 2-1 in the SCOL) is home this afternoon for a triple bill against Dublin Jerome, beginning at 4:45 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT – 15 5 16 15 – 51
H – 11 6 11 15 – 43
Miami Trace: Creamer 1(2) 5/6 – 13; Pittser 4(1) 1/3 – 12; Tyree 2(1) 1/2 – 8; McDonald 1(1) 0/1 – 5; Card 2 1/2 – 5; Bryant 2 – 4; Leach 2 0/1 – 4. Totals: 14(5) 8/11 – 51.
Hillsboro: Mycroft 5 6/11 – 16; Kibler 1(3) – 11; Ryan 3 1/2 – 7; Brown 2 1/2 – 5; Deatley (1) – 3; Reed 1/2 – 1. Totals: 11(4) 9/17 – 43.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.