The 2020 portion of the 2020-21 winter sports season came to a close Friday as the Miami Trace Lady Panthers visited Washington High School for a game against the Lady Blue Lions.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the attendance was one of the smallest in the history of the rivalry.
Miami Trace High School and Washington High School will not play sports again now until after the first of the year.
After a slow start for both teams, Miami Trace was able to put some distance between themselves and Washington, coming away with a 44-29 victory.
Miami Trace had two players reach double figures, led by senior Magarah Bloom with 12 points. She was also her team’s leader in rebounds with eight, including five on the offensive boards.
Senior Gracee Stewart scored 10 points for Miami Trace, hitting the game’s only three-point field goal.
Sophomore Hillery Jacobs had seven points for Miami Trace. Junior Libby Aleshire had five rebounds, led the team with three assists and shared the team lead in steals with Jacobs with three each.
Senior Emily Semler led Washington with seven points.
Junior Aaralyne Estep scored six and junior Jeleeya Smith scored five.
Washington senior Mallory Hicks scored the first basket of the game at the 7:20 mark.
Bloom tied the score with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Sophomore Megan Sever scored for Washington to give the Lady Lions a 4-2 lead with 4:40 to go in the first.
Miami Trace junior Sidney Payton tied the game and Aleshire hit a free throw to give Miami Trace a 5-4 lead after eight minutes of play.
Both teams fared better, offensively, in the second quarter.
The lead changed hands just once in that period, with Washington last holding a lead of 8-7 after a basket by Semler.
Jacobs answered and put the visiting Lady Panthers back in front.
Estep scored and Smith hit a free throw, tying the game for what would be the final time on the night, 11-11 with 3:05 remaining until the half.
In the final minutes of the first half, Washington got to within two points, but Miami Trace closed out the quarter with a 9-2 run to take a 24-15 halftime lead.
Miami Trace won the third quarter, 14-4 to extend its lead to 38-19 after 24 minutes of play.
The Lady Panthers led by as many as 21 points early in the fourth quarter.
Washington outscored Miami Trace in the fourth quarter, 10-6 to put the final tally at 44-29.
“(This game) is always emotional,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “We had turnovers to start; they had turnovers to start. It’s a different atmosphere (because of the sparse crowd). When we play Court House most of the time, it’s packed and you can’t see a bleacher. Tonight was pretty surreal when it comes to that.
“This was our fourth game in six days,” Ackley said. “We knew we would be extremely fatigued. We had hoped for a better start and we were really concerned when we didn’t get a better start.
“We just have so much to work on,” Ackley said. “We didn’t have a summer with our kids and we usually do a ton in the summertime. We can’t get over the barrier of making silly mistakes. We’ll continue to get better, but we have to keep grinding and figure some things out.
“It’s the first time we’ve won in here in three years,” Ackley said. “This is a tough place to play, so, we’re just grateful to come out of here with the ‘w’.”
“We have moments when we look really good and make good decisions,” Washington head coach Samantha Bihl said. “We’re just really inconsistent. We have a lot of inexperienced kids, and it shows.
“Our inconsistency really hurt us tonight,” Bihl said. “Especially in the third quarter. We just turned the ball over way too much.”
Washington had 34 turnovers to 18 for Miami Trace.
“We have to take care of the ball and rebound every single night that we play in order to successful,” Bihl said. “We didn’t do either of those things tonight. They did a good job pressuring us. I thought at the end we showed improvement; we showed that we can handle it. We just need to get our kids more experience.”
Washington (0-6 overall, 0-3 FAC) is scheduled to return to action Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 at Fairfield High School.
Miami Trace (4-3 overall, 2-0 FAC) is slated to host North Adams on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 5 19 14 6 — 44
W 4 11 4 10 — 29
MIAMI TRACE — Kaelin Pfeifer 0-1-1; Gracee Stewart 3 (1)-1-10; Magarah Bloom 6-0-12; Libby Aleshire 0-2-2; Gracey Ferguson 1-0-2; Sidney Payton 1-0-2; Hillery Jacobs 3-1-7; Emma Pitstick 2-0-4; Delaney Eakins 2-0-4. TOTALS — 18 (1)-5-44. Free throw shooting: 5 of 16 for 31 percent. Three-point field goal: Stewart. Field goal shooting: 19 of 45 for 42 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 7 for 14 percent. Rebounds: 31 (13 offensive). Assists: 12. Steals: 12. Blocked shots: 4. Fouls: 20. Turnovers: 18.
WASHINGTON — Emily Semler 3-1-7; Aaralyne Estep 3-0-6; Allie Mongold 0-1-1; Mallory Hicks 2-0-4; Megan Sever 2-0-4; Calleigh Wead-Salmi 1-0-2; Addie Shiltz 0-0-0; Jeleeya Smith 2-1-5. TOTALS — 13-3-29. Free throw shooting: 3 of 11 for 27 percent. Three-point field goals: none. Field goal shooting: 13 of 27 for 48 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 0 of 4. Turnovers: 34. Offensive rebounds: 7.