The final of seven rivalry basketball games at Miami Trace High School Saturday featured the boys varsity contest between the Panthers and Washington Blue Lions.
A strong start in the first quarter, followed by 25 points in the second quarter lifted the Panthers above the .500 mark with a 66-42 victory.
Miami Trace led 16-6 at the end of the first quarter and 41-20 at halftime.
In the second half, it was a more even game with the Panthers outscoring Washington by a total of three points.
Junior Logan Rodgers led the game in scoring for Miami Trace with 20 points. He also led the Panthers in rebounds with six. Rodgers had one slam dunk early in the third quarter.
Senior Trevor Barker scored 12 points and had a game-high eight assists and five steals.
Junior Dylan Bernard hit two three-point shots and scored a total of eight points, along with four rebounds.
Junior Cameron Moore also had eight points for the Panthers.
Junior Mitch Lotz led the Blue Lions with 12 points.
Senior Trevor Rarick scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds.
Senior Drew Moats scored six points and shared the game lead with six rebounds.
Freshman Tanner Lemaster also had six rebounds for the Blue Lions.
The Panthers took a 5-0 lead in the game and never trailed.
Miami Trace broadened its lead to as many as 23 points in the second quarter before taking a 41-20 lead into the locker room.
The Panthers led by as many as 30 points with 3:30 to play in the third quarter.
“We’ve found a little bit of an identity with the zone press here in the last three or four games and it’s been really good to us,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “We’re long at the point of it and we’re long at the back of it. Even when you get a chance to break it cleanly, even if you get a two or three on one, we still have a 6-6 or a 6-7 kid standing back there. That can be a real deterrent.
“If we’re going to play this style and continue to go forward with it, we’re going to have to go a little deeper on the bench,” Pittser said. “We’ll have to play nine or 10 guys. I’m fine with subbing three or four at a time. We’re just looking for effort and when we get tired, we mix people in and out. It’s worked a little bit for us here and it gives us a chance to play more groupings of kids, everyone gets to contribute a little bit more. We’re happy with the win tonight.
“Coach (Ryan) Day will get that ship turned around,” Pittser said of the Blue Lions. “Any time you are starting that late in the season, it just puts you behind the eight ball a little bit, trying to introduce some new principals to the program. He’ll definitely have them ready for the next time we play and it’ll be a completely different ball game, I’m sure.”
“We thought we had good prep for tonight’s game,” Washington head coach Ryan Day said. “I can’t explain why we made some of the decisions that we made. It’s difficult to simulate (defensive pressure) in practice. We’ve got to get to the point where what we’re teaching is what we do.
“In the first half, we weren’t doing what we teach,” Day said. “We’re going to re-evaluate a lot things and see who’s ready to be coachable and do what we ask.
“There are some things to be happy about in the second half,” Day said. “But, we’ve got to shore up a lot of things. I’m not expecting that they’ll all be shored up this week or next.
“We put a couple of young guys, a couple of guys off the bench,” Day said. “I was really pleased. They didn’t panic; they seemed like they enjoyed the moment.”
Washington (0-8 overall, 0-5 FAC) will host Vinton County Saturday with the j-v game starting at 3 p.m. and the varsity game to follow around 4:30 p.m.
Miami Trace (5-4 overall, 3-2 FAC) will host the varsity McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Thursday evening. London will play Greeneview at 6:30 p.m. with the Panthers taking on Madison Plains around 8 p.m.
In other FAC games Saturday, McClain slipped past Hillsboro, 46-44.
Defending champions Chillicothe improves to 5-0 in the FAC with a 66-52 win over Jackson.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 16 25 13 12 — 66
W 6 14 11 11 — 42
MIAMI TRACE — Logan Rodgers 8-4-20; Trevor Barker 6-0-12; Dylan Bernard 1 (2)-0-8; Cameron Moore 4-0-8; Kyler Conn 3-1-7; Andrew Guthrie 3-0-6; Ethan Steele 1-0-2; Hayden Hunter 1-0-2; Keegan Terry 0-1-1; Cyrus Keplinger 0-0-0; Bo Little 0-0-0; Isaiah Reisinger 0-0-0. TOTALS — 27 (2)-6-66. Free throw shooting: 6 of 14 for 42 percent. Three-point field goals: Bernard, 2. Field goal shooting: 29 of 53 for 54 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 15 for 13 percent. Rebounds: 25 (5 offensive).; Assists: 18. Steals: 22. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 13. Personal fouls: 11. Bench points: 11. Second chance points: 4. Points off turnovers; 22.
WASHINGTON — Mitch Lotz 1 (3)-1-12; Trevor Rarick 3 (1)-0-9; Drew Moats 1 (1)-1-6; Calum Brown 2-1-5; Traeton Johnson 2-1-5; Tanner Lemaster 0 (1)-0-3; Stone DuBois 0 (1)-0-3; Trevin Brown 0-0-0; Noah Hicks 0-0-0; Brice Cartwright 0-0-0; Titus Lotz 0-0-0. TOTALS — 9 (7)-3-42. Free throw shooting: 3 of 6 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: M. Lotz, 3; Rarick, Moats, Lemaster, DeBois. Field goal shooting: 16 of 43 for 37 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 7 of 25 for 28 percent. Rebounds: 25 (6 offensive). Assists: 4. Steals: 7. Blocks: 3. Turnovers: 24. Personal fouls: 10. Bench points: 12. Second chance points: 3. Points off turnovers: 6.