The Miami Trace Lady Panthers varsity basketball team had its home debut for the 2020-21 season Tuesday night.
The fans in attendance were limited to 15 percent of the gym’s capacity, as was the case in volleyball season during the COVID pandemic.
Miami Trace had a tough time taking care of the ball, but still made the game very close at the end before falling, 45-42.
Many of the turnovers led to transition baskets for Eastern Brown, Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley stated in his post-game remarks.
“We’ve got to do a lot of growing up,” Ackley said. “We return a lot of experience. We had a couple of kids tonight just coming off of quarantine and I put them in a no-win situation by playing them as much as we did.
“I thought we looked a little tired in the first half and we needed to get some kids some minutes,” Ackley said. “I applaud their effort because they fought.”
The Lady Panthers had 31 turnovers in the game and, after leading early, 5-2, found themselves playing from behind after Eastern Brown went on an 11-0 run to end the first quarter in front, 13-5.
Miami Trace trailed by as many as 13 points in the second quarter as the teams left the floor with the Lady Warriors holding a 25-13 halftime lead.
Eastern Brown led by 14 points early in the third quarter.
Miami Trace clawed its way back to within four points, 31-27 with a three-point shot from sophomore Hillery Jacobs with 4:26 to play in the third quarter.
Miami Trace shot well from three-point range, making 7 of 16 shots from behind the arc for 44 percent. For the game overall, the Lady Panthers made 13 of 44 field goal attempts for 30 percent.
Eastern Brown was in front, 36-29 at the end of the third quarter.
As the game moved along, Miami Trace again climbed to within four points when sophomore Kaelin Pfeifer hit a three-point shot with 2:56 to play in the game.
Jacobs hit another three with 1:12 to play, cutting Eastern Brown’s lead to three at 43-40.
After a free throw by the Lady Warriors, Pfeifer scored again to make it 44-42 with 40 seconds to go.
After a held ball gave possession back to Miami Trace, the Lady Panthers had three shot attempts, each unsuccessful, to tie the game.
Eastern Brown made another free throw to set the score at 45-42 with 4.6 seconds to play.
Miami Trace had a three-point shot attempt at the buzzer, but the ball rimmed out, allowing Eastern Brown to escape with the three-point victory.
Seniors Magarah Bloom and Delaney Eakins shared the scoring lead for Miami Trace, each with nine points. Senior Gracee Stewart scored eight points, Pfeifer had seven and Jacobs had six.
Bloom led Miami Trace with nine rebounds, including five offensive. Eakins had seven rebounds and sophomore Gracey Ferguson had five.
Leonard was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points. Junior Emma Prine had nine points for the Lady Warriors.
“Eastern Brown’s guard is as good a guard as we’re going to see all year,” Ackley said. “She’s a sophomore. She was really good last year and they made a deep run. They are always good. (Eastern Brown head coach Kevin Pickerill) does an outstanding job and has a great staff.”
This year, more than ever before, the schedule is subject to change.
Next on the schedule for Miami Trace (0-2) is a game at Peebles Saturday with the j-v scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Miami Trace has a game scheduled at Chillicothe Wednesday, but Chillicothe City Schools has announced it has suspended all winter sports activities until Jan. 5.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 5 8 16 13 — 42
EB 13 12 11 9 — 45
MIAMI TRACE — Kaelin Pfeifer 2 (1)-0-7; Gracee Stewart 0 (2)-2-8; Magarah Bloom 2-5-9; Libby Aleshire 1-0-2; Gracey Ferguson 0-1-1; Sidney Payton 0-0-0; Hillery Jacobs 0 (2)-0-6; Emma Pitstick 0-0-0; Delaney Eakins 1 (2)-1-9. TOTALS — 6 (7)-8-42. Free throw shooting: 8 of 14 for 57 percent. Field goal shooting: 13 of 44 for 30 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 7 of 16 for 44 percent. Three-point field goals: Jacobs, 2; Eakins, 2; Stewart, 2; Pfeifer. Turnovers: 31. Assists: 6. Rebounds: 38 (13 offensive). Steals: 7. Fouls: 18.
EASTERN BROWN — Kirsten Bailey 0-1-1; Caitlyn Wills 1-1-3; Rylee Leonard 6 (1)-9-24; Bailey Dotson 2-0-4; Mary Litzinger 0-0-0; Emma Prine 1 (2)-1-9; Mckinzie Dotson 0-0-0; Emma Brown 1-0-2; Izzy Barber 1-0-2. TOTALS — 12 (3)-12-45. Free throw shooting: 12 of 20 for 60 percent. Field goal shooting: 15 of 38 for 39 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 11 for 27 percent. Turnovers: 17. Offensive rebounds: 6. Three-point field goals: Prine, 2; Leonard.