There is an up and coming team in the Frontier Athletic Conference: the Jackson Iron Ladies.
After winning only two games last year, Jackson is much-improved and their tenacity was on display at Miami Trace High School against the Lady Panthers Saturday evening, Jan. 9.
Miami Trace was able to distance themselves from Jackson in the second half to post a 45-36 win.
Senior Magarah Bloom was the game’s leading scorer for Miami Trace with 18 points. She was 5 of 6 from the free throw line and hit one of her team’s two three-point field goals.
Bloom led the team in steals with three and was second on the team in rebounds with eight.
Sophomore Hillery Jacobs scored eight points and junior Emma Pitstick scored seven, hitting one three-point basket.
Sophomore Gracey Ferguson led the team in rebounds with nine and assists with four.
Jackson had two players in double figures, led by freshman Mattie Walburn with 11 points. She hit one of her team’s two three-point baskets.
Another freshman, Sydney Hughes, hit one three and scored a total of 10 points.
Freshman Teresa Carpenter had seven points.
Miami Trace took a 4-0 lead in this game.
By the end of the first quarter, the game was tied, 8-8.
Jackson took the lead, 11-10, early in the second quarter.
Jackson also led, 13-10 and later, 16-14 with 2:57 to play in the half.
Miami Trace recaptured the lead when Jacobs scored and hit a free throw after a foul.
Jackson scored late in the half to cut Miami Trace’s lead to one, at 19-18.
The Iron Ladies led early in the third quarter with the help of an offensive rebound and put-back, 20-19.
Bloom hit a three and senior Gracee Stewart scored to give Miami Trace a 24-20 lead with 5:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Jackson scored the next four points, tying the game for what would be the final time, 24-24 with 1:05 to play in the third.
Pitstick hit a three and Bloom scored again to take a 29-25 lead after three quarters of play.
Miami Trace increased its lead to as many as nine points, 35-26, to begin the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Kaelin Pfeifer scored to give Miami Trace a 10-point lead, 39-29 with just over three minutes to play in the game.
Jackson got as close as six points down the stretch, with Miami Trace emerging with the 45-36 victory.
“Jackson has a great core group of freshmen,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “I know they played at least four freshmen tonight. They got extended minutes. They are all very skilled; they handle the ball well and shoot it well. Their future is certainly very bright.
“Coach (Matt) Walburn is as good a coach as there is in this whole area,” Ackley said. “We knew we would have our hands full tonight. They’ve gotten better with every game. We’re just fortunate to get out of here with a win.
“I’m very proud of Magarah Bloom,” Ackley said. “She had her best game of the year. All of our post players — Gracey Ferguson, Bean Jacobs, Delaney Eakins and Libby Aleshire — all gave us good minutes in the second half.
“Kaelin Pfeifer gave us a really big spark there in the third quarter and early in the fourth,” Ackley said. “Tonight was a total team effort with a lot of kids stepping up.”
“We’re a very, very young team, obviously,” Jackson head coach Matt Walburn said. “We start four freshmen and a junior.
“Miami Trace made a little run in the third quarter,” Walburn said. “We got it back and tied it. It was still only a six point game with 50 seconds to go.
“Their physicality and their speed and their experience (concerned us),” Walburn said. “They are very well-coached. I think Ben is the best coach in our league. He does a great job with them.
“We don’t get into, ‘hey, that was a good loss, you played well,’” Walburn said. “We’re here to win and we didn’t get it done. We’ll get back at it and get ready for the next game.”
Miami Trace (5-4 overall, 3-0 in the Frontier Athletic Conference) will host Chillicothe Wednesday, with the j-v game starting at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Panthers are at McClain Saturday for a j-v noon start.
Jackson (4-8 overall, 1-2 in the FAC) was scheduled to host Hillsboro Monday and host McClain Wednesday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 8 11 10 16 — 45
J 8 10 6 12 — 36
MIAMI TRACE — Kaelin Pfeifer 2-0-4; Gracee Stewart 1-0-2; Magarah Bloom 5 (1)-5-18; Libby Aleshire 0-0-0; Gracey Ferguson 1-0-2; Hilery Jacobs 2-4-8; Emma Pitstick 2 (1)-0-7; Delaney Eakins 1-2-4. TOTALS — 14 (2)-11-45. Free throw shooting: 11 of 14 for 79 percent. Three-point field goals: Bloom, Pitstick. Field goal shooting: 16 of 51 for 31 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 16 for 13 percent. Rebounds: 30 (12 offensive). Turnovers: 7. Assists: 10. Steals: 10. Blocked shots: 2. Personal fouls: 14.
JACKSON — Katelyn Webb 1-0-2; Teresa Carpenter 3-1-7; Mattie Walburn 4 (1)-0-11; Lauren Elliott 0-0-0; Kenzie Davis 3-0-6; Sydney Hughes 2 (1)-3-10; Taylor Evans 0-0-0. TOTALS — 13 (2)-4-36. Free throw shooting: 4 of 7 for 57 percent. Three-point field goals: Walburn, Hughes. Field goal shooting: 15 of 38 for 39 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 10 for 20 percent. Turnovers: 16. Offensive rebounds: 6.
Miami Trace wins j-v game against Jackson
In Saturday’s junior-varsity contest, Miami Trace defeated Jackson, 37-22.
Hillary McCoy led Miami Trace with 13 points.
Jessee Stewart scored nine points, hitting Miami Trace’s lone three-point basket of the game.
Mallory Lovett scored six points, Sue Morris had four, Audrey Craig scored three and Sidney Payton scored two.
Sophia Metzler was the game’s leading scorer for Jackson with 15 points.
Cameron Craigle scored three and Meeka Harris and Bailey Witt both chipped in two points.
Miami Trace led 12-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The score was 20-10 at the half in favor of Miami Trace.
The Lady Panthers led 29-14 after three quarters of play.