CHILLICOTHE — It was a battle of first place teams in the Frontier Athletic Conference Wednesday as Miami Trace Lady Panthers and Chillicothe Lady Cavaliers took the court at Chillicothe High School.
Chillicothe, Miami Trace and McClain all entered Wednesday’s action tied for first place at 4-1.
The Lady Panthers made it a season sweep of Chillicothe, winning 39-20.
Back on Dec. 4, Miami Trace won at home over Chillicothe, 47-44.
McClain defeated Jackson Wednesday, 44-31.
McClain will play Saturday at 6 p.m. at Miami Trace with the winner having a one game lead in the FAC with three games to play.
The first time Miami Trace and Chillicothe played, senior Shay McDonald was sidelined with an injury.
Last night, McDonald was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points. She also shared the team lead in rebounds with junior Delaney Eakins, each with seven. McDonald also led in assists with six and steals with six.
Freshman Gracey Ferguson scored nine points and had five rebounds, including a team-high three on the offensive glass.
Junior Magarah Bloom had four points and three rebounds.
For the Lady Cavs, senior Shawnice Smith led with eight points.
Freshman Jacey Harding scored six and senior Julia Hall hit her team’s only three-point shot and finished with three points.
“I am very proud of our kids,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “I thought that they dove into the game-plan. All the kids watched a lot of film the last few days. Everyone had a really good idea, defensively, of what we wanted to do and they executed it tonight.
“Libby Aleshire, Delaney Eakins, Gracey Ferguson, Hillery Jacobs — those kids are our interior defenders — I really thought they did a good job,” Ackley said. “We were helping off a couple of kids. The kids played extremely hard. I thought we shared the ball on offense very well and it made a big difference having Shay back. She’s a special talent. She’s tough to stay in front of, one-on-one. She did a lot of things tonight, not only for herself, but that made others around her better.
“Gracey Ferguson, a freshman, this is the second straight game she’s come in and helped us off the bench,” Ackley said. “She played a good game, offensively, but, I was proud of the way she rebounded. Against Chillicothe, rebounding is always a big concern. I felt like we did the best job we’ve done all year rebounding the basketball.”
Taking care of the ball was a key factor, with Miami Trace having 12 steals and Chillicothe a total of 24 turnovers.
“We can’t give possessions away to a good team like Miami Trace,” Chillicothe head coach Jeremy Beverly said. “They did a good job of crowding (Shawnice Smith) inside. They took her strong hand away. She didn’t have a chance to get herself going tonight like we wanted to do.
“They’re very well-coached,” Beverly said. “They are a scrappy bunch. Ben always has them ready to play. They did a very good job of making us do things that we didn’t want to do. We had 12 turnovers at the half. That’s a lot of empty possessions.”
The game began as, and for the most part remained, a defensive struggle.
Chillicothe scored the game’s first basket at the 7:10 mark of the first quarter.
Bloom put Miami Trace’s first points on the board, scoring with 2:30 to play in the period.
Ferguson made two free throws and freshman Hillery Jacobs scored to conclude the offense in the first quarter for Miami Trace.
Chillicothe hit 1 of 2 free throws to close out the frame, 6-3 in favor of Miami Trace.
Miami Trace picked up the scoring considerably in the second quarter.
Conversely, Chillicothe continued to struggle from the floor. After hitting 1 of 10 shots in the first period, the Lady Cavs made 1 of 9 in the second quarter.
Chillicothe tied the game, 6-6, a little over one minute into the second quarter.
Miami Trace then went on a 14-0 run the remainder of the first half.
Sophomore Mallory Pavey connected on a pair of free throws for the final points of the half, giving Miami Trace a 20-6 halftime lead.
The Lady Panthers began the second half consolidating their lead with a 9-2 run.
By the end of the third quarter, Miami Trace was in front, 31-14.
McDonald hit a pair of three-point shots to open even more daylight between the Lady Panthers and the Lady Cavaliers.
She scored all eight of Miami Trace’s fourth quarter points as the Lady Panthers completed the winning effort, 39-20.
Also in the FAC Wednesday, Hillsboro beat Washington, 45-41.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 6 14 11 8 — 39
C 3 3 8 6 — 20
MIAMI TRACE — Sidney Payton 0-0-0; Mallory Pavey 0-2-2; Aubrey McCoy 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 4 (3)-1-18; Magarah Bloom 2-0-4; Libby Aleshire 1-0-2; Gracey Ferguson 3-3-9; Mallory Lovett 0-0-0; Hillary Jacobs 1-0-2; Grace Bapst 0-0-0; Emma Pitstick 0-0-0; Delaney Eakins 1-0-2; Addy Little 0-0-0. TOTALS — 12 (3)-6-39. Free throw shooting: 6 of 9 for 67 percent. Three-point field goals: McDonald, 3. Field goal shooting: 15 of 43 for 35 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 10 for 30 percent. Rebounds: 27 (8 offensive). Turnovers: 15. Assists: 12. Steals: 12.
CHILLICOTHE — Zoe Ford 0-0-0; Julia Hall 0 (1)-0-3; Jacey Harding 3-0-6; Emma Fromm 0-0-0; Aries Barnes 0-0-0; Alysia Cunningham 0-1-1; Shawnice Smith 3-2-8; Avery Erslan 1-0-2. TOTALS — 7 (1)-3-20. Free throw shooting: 3 of 8 for 38 percent. Three-point field goal: Hall. Field goal shooting: 8 of 33 for 24 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 8 for 13 percent. Offensive rebounds: 9. Turnovers: 24.
Miami Trace wins j-v game with Chillicothe
In the j-v game Wednesday, Miami Trace defeated Chillicothe, 31-24.
Miami Trace is now 8-5 overall, 5-1 in the FAC.
Hillary McCoy was the game’s leading scorer for Miami Trace with 15 points. She hit the only three-point field goal of the game.
Also for Miami Trace, Lilly Workman scored six points, Mallory Pavey had four and three players — Sidney Payton, Addy Little and Mallory Lovett — each added two points.
Jacey Harding led Chillicothe with eight points.
Rhiley Sayer scored five, Paige Huggins and Avery Erslan both scored four, Shay Miller scored two and Emma Fromm had one.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 6 6 7 12 — 31
C 6 3 8 7 — 24