FRANKFORT — The Miami Trace Lady Panthers began play in the Division II Sectional tournament Saturday, Feb. 15, taking on the Lady Tigers from Waverly High School.
The game was played at Adena High School near Frankfort.
Miami Trace pulled away from Waverly in the third quarter to post a 50-36 victory.
Miami Trace (17-6 overall) advances to the District tournament where they will face the No. 5 team in the state, Sheridan, Friday at 6:15 p.m. at Southeastern High School near Chillicothe.
Miami Trace senior Shay McDonald was the game’s leading scorer with 15 points, giving her 1,041 for her career.
McDonald also had seven rebounds and led her team with five assists.
Junior Delaney Eakins scored 14 points and recorded a double-double with a team-high 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.
Junior Magarah Bloom added nine points for Miami Trace.
Waverly junior Paige Carter led the Lady Tigers with 10 points.
Miami Trace struggled with ball control in this game, with a season-high 31 turnovers.
Waverly fared a little better in this regard, with 25 turnovers.
The Lady Panthers had 33 rebounds, seven offensive.
Waverly had 12 offensive rebounds.
Miami Trace led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Panthers had 10 turnovers in the first quarter and Waverly countered with six.
The second quarter was another close period.
Waverly led 12-9 with 7:02 to play in the half.
Miami Trace had seven additional turnovers in the second quarter.
At the half, Miami Trace was in front, 18-15.
The Lady Panthers began the third quarter with a 9-2 run to go in front by 10, 27-17.
Miami Trace outscored Waverly 6-3 the remainder of the quarter to hold a 34-20 lead. The quarter was capped by a three-point basket from McDonald at the buzzer.
Miami Trace led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter, as the two teams essentially traded scores for the final eight minutes.
“I’m really happy for our kids,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “This group has worked hard throughout the year. We’ve had our struggles. It wasn’t pretty today, but they keep working and grinding and they ended up on the right end.
“Great teams find ways to win when they don’t play so good,” Ackley said. “We definitely did not play well today. Without watching the film and grading it, this has to be one of our three worst games offensively all year.
“When you hold the Smith kid (junior Zoiee), who is a First Team, All-District kid, to three points, you’re always going to give yourself a chance,” Ackley said. “She’s played varsity since she was a freshman. Everyone knows that’s a staple of what we do. We’re going to try and take away what you do best and make your supplemental options beat us. We were successful today.
“I just felt like our focus was lacking,” Ackley said. “We had kids making mistakes that don’t usually make those mistakes. Our kids responded. We still made a lot of mistakes in the second half but we made some timely shots and we did enough.
“(Delaney Eakins) either cleared space for someone else to get the rebound or she got it herself at huge times,” Ackley said. “She made big shots for us today.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 9 9 16 16 — 50
W 7 8 5 16 — 36
MIAMI TRACE — Sidney Payton 0-0-0; Aubrey McCoy 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 3 (2)-3-15; Magarah Bloom 4-1-9; Libby Aleshire 2-0-4; Gracey Ferguson 2-0-4; Hillery Jacobs 2-0-4; Grace Bapst 0-0-0; Delaney Eakins 6-2-14. TOTALS — 19 (2)-6-50. Free throw shooting: 6 of 8 for 75 percent. Three-point field goals: McDonald, 2. Field goal shooting: 21 of 39 for 54 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 4 for 50 percent. Rebounds: 33 (7 offensive). Turnovers: 31. Assists: 9. Steals: 10.
WAVERLY — Kelli Stewart 2-0-4; Carli Knight 3-0-5; Michaela Rhoads 0 (2)-0-6; Lydia Brown 0-1-1; Zoiee Smith 0-3-3; Sarah Thompson 3-0-6; Paige Carter 3-4-10. TOTALS — 11 (2)-8-36. Free throw shooting: 8 of 14 for 57 percent. Three-point field goals: Rhoads, 2. Field goal shooting: 13 of 46 for 28 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 11 for 18 percent. Turnovers: 25. Offensive rebounds: 12.