The chase for the championship in the Frontier Athletic Conference is now down to two teams: Miami Trace and McClain.
Miami Trace improved to 7-1 in the conference with a 59-31 victory at home over Hillsboro Wednesday.
McClain kept pace, rallying to defeat Chillicothe Wednesday, 37-35.
McClain will play at Miami Trace Thursday, Feb. 6. Miami Trace will conclude FAC play for the season with a game at Washington High School Saturday, Feb. 8. The Lady Tigers also have a conference game remaining with Hillsboro.
Miami Trace senior Shaylee McDonald is closing in on 1,000 points for her career.
McDonald was the game’s leading scorer Wednesday with 20, bringing her total to 974.
Ten other players scored for Miami Trace, with juniors Delaney Eakins and Magarah Bloom both scoring six and sophomore Libby Aleshire scoring six.
Freshman Hillery Jacobs had five points for Miami Trace.
Senior Karleigh Hopkins led Hillsboro with 10 points.
Senior Josie Hopkins was next for the Lady Indians with six points.
Miami Trace came out extremely strong in the first quarter, hitting 11 of 18 field goal attempts (61 percent) and taking a 29-3 lead.
The Lady Panthers held a 40-9 halftime lead.
About midway or so through the third quarter, Miami Trace subbed out its starting players.
After three quarters, it was Miami Trace 56, Hillsboro 16.
Hillsboro outscored Miami Trace in the fourth quarter, 15-3 for the 59-31 final.
“Our kids played well early tonight,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “That’s something we haven’t done a great job of all year. Our kids are pretty dialed in right now. They’re practicing well. (They have) a lot of confidence. They’re playing well together and I thought that showed tonight in the first quarter.
“We’ve gotten a lot better defensively over the course of the year,” Ackley said. “We were so young early and Shay was out. We had some kids that just had to learn on the job. That comes with some struggles — sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. Now they’re starting to see the some of the benefit of the work paying off.”
Twelve of Miami Trace’s 14 players had at least one rebound Wednesday.
McDonald led with six rebounds and Bloom, Gracey Ferguson and Eakins each had five.
Senior Aubrey McCoy and McDonald each had four assists.
Miami Trace will host the always-tough Unioto Lady Shermans Saturday. The j-v game is first, starting at noon.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 29 11 16 3 — 59
H 3 6 7 15 — 31
MIAMI TRACE — Sidney Payton 0 (1)-0-3; Mallory Pavey 0-0-0; Aubrey McCoy 1-0-2; Shay McDonald 2 (4)-4-20; Magarah Bloom 0 (2)-0-6; Libby Aleshire 2-2-6; Gracey Ferguson 2-0-4; Mallory Lovett 0-0-0; Hillery Jacobs 1 (1)-0-5; Grace Bapst 1-0-2; Emma Pitstick 1-2-4; Delaney Eakins 3-0-6; Addy Little 0-0-0; Hillary McCoy 0-1-1. TOTALS — 13 (8)-9-59. Free throw shooting: 9 of 10 for 90 percent. Three-point field goals: McDonald, 4; Bloom, 2; Payton, Jacobs. Field goal shooting: 21 of 52 for 40 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 8 of 19 for 42 percent. Rebounds: 37 (14 offensive). Turnovers: 15. Assists: 13. Steals: 11.
HILLSBORO — Gracie Dean 2-1-5; Sinai Roberts 0-0-0; Josie Hopkins 1 (1)-1-6; Mallory Parsons 1-1-3; Karleigh Hopkins 3-4-10; Mya Bell 2-1-5; Bryanna Bledsoe 1-0-2; Jaden Moberly 0-0-0; Susanna Barney 0-0-0; Christine Page 0-0-0. TOTALS — 10 (1)-8-31. Free throw shooting: 8 of 12 for 67 percent. Three-point field goal: J. Hopkins. Field goal shooting: 11 of 40 for 28 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 9 for 11 percent. Turnovers: 21. Offensive rebounds: 8.