In the Frontier Athletic Conference, there are six member schools.
In basketball, there are 10 conference games to decide the champion.
Hillsboro visited Miami Trace High School Saturday night and both teams battled. The play was certainly indiciative of just how much each team wanted the win.
There were players hitting the floor right and left, diving and falling for every loose ball and every advantage they could find. The action was often rough and tumble.
In the end, Miami Trace emerged with a 36-34 victory.
Miami Trace improves to 4-2 in the FAC, 6-9 overall.
Hillsboro falls to 3-3 in the conference, 6-7 overall.
Senior Grace Dean was the game’s leading scorer, pouring in 18 points.
Senior Brynn Bledsoe scored eight points for Hillsboro and sophomore Rylie Scott scored five.
For the Lady Panthers, senior Libby Aleshire led with nine points. Juniors Mallory Lovett and Hillary McCoy both scored six points, sophomore Jessee Stewart scored five, junior Hillery ‘Bean’ Jacobs score four and a trio of players — seniors Mallory Pavey and Sidney Payton and junior Kaelin Pfeifer — each scored two points.
Miami Trace started the game with a 7-0 lead. The Lady Panthers led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Miami Trace twice led by as many as five points in the second quarter before the half ended with the home team in front, 22-19.
With back-to-back three-point baskets by Dean, Hillsboro momentarily held a 27-26 lead in the third quarter.
Entering the fourth quarter, Miami Trace was in front, 28-27.
Miami Trace once again took a lead of five points as the fourth quarter unfolded. They could put no more distance than that between themselves and a tenacious Hillsboro squad.
With a basket from Scott, it was 34-33, Miami Trace with 37 seconds to play.
Jacobs converted a pair of free throws to make it 36-33.
Hillsboro had a shot that missed and two offensive rebounds, but could not score.
However, there was a foul on Miami Trace with 19 seconds to play.
Hillsboro converted one of those two throws to make it 36-34.
Miami Trace missed the front end of a one-and-bonus situation with 18 seconds left.
After a Hillsboro time out, the Lady Indians missed two shots from the floor.
With the game in the balance, Aleshire missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3.5 seconds to play. However, she rebounded her miss and held the ball as time expired.
“I’m very proud of our girls,” Hillsboro head coach Chad Fields said. “We were faced with some adversity. We had four of our players go out with COVID at 3 o’clock today; one of them was a starter.
“We had to move some players around,” Fields said. “The girls showed a lot of resilencey tonight. They didn’t let that affect them. They played really tough and I think we learned a lot about ourselves tonight as a team.”
“I hadn’t seen them go box-and-one or diamond-and-one,” Miami Trace head coach Kayla Dettwiller said. “The last time they face-guarded Jessee, but they did it out of a man (defense).
“We had to make a little bit of an adjustment to that,” Dettwiller said.
“We want the girls to be aggressive at all times,” Dettwiller said. “Intensity and aggressiveness come together. It’s kind of a defensive mind-set we want to be in.
“I like that we were a little bit physical,” Dettwiller said. “We could have boxed out a little better tonight. We gave up too many offensive rebounds.”
Hillsboro had 13 offensive rebounds to five for Miami Trace.
Miami Trace is scheduled to play at Jackson Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Jackson is in first place in the FAC at 5-1 after a 54-30 win at Washington High School Saturday.
Miami Trace has just one home game remaining, that coming Wednesday, Jan. 26 against McClain.
Hillsboro plays at Chillicothe Wednesday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 13 9 6 8 — 36
H 12 8 9 8 — 34
MIAMI TRACE — Kaelin Pfeifer 1-0-2; Hillary McCoy 2-2-6; Jessee Stewart 0 (1)-2-5; Libby Aleshire 4-1-9; Mallory Pavey 1-0-2; Sidney Payton 0-2-2; Mallory Lovett 3-0-6; Hillery Jacobs 1-2-4. TOTALS — 12 (1)-9-36. Free throw shooting: 9 of 13 for 69 percent. Three-point field goal: Stewart. Field goal shooting: 13 of 35 for 37 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 9 for 11 percent. Rebounds: 21 (5 offensive). Turnovers: 25. Assists: 11. Steals: 8. Blocked shots: 4. Fouls: 14
HILLSBORO — Grace Dean 5 (2)-2-18; Mya Bell 1-0-2; Rylie Scott 1 (1)-0-5; Sinai Roberts 0-1-1; Peighton Bledsoe 0-0-0; Brynn Bledsoe 4-0-8; Kallie Fraley 0-0-0. TOTALS — 11 (3)-3-34. Free throw shooting: 3 of 7 for 43 percent. Three-point field goals: Dean, 2; Scott. Field goal shooting: 14 of 41 for 34 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 16 for 19 percent. Turnovers: 24. Offensive rebounds: 13.
Miami Trace wins j-v game
In a two-quarter junior-varsity game Saturday, Miami Trace beat Hillsboro, 10-7.
Sue Morris and Nevaeh Lyons both scored four points for Miami Trace and Hannah Binegar scored two.
Cameron Spruell scored four points for Hillsboro, Kallie Fraley scored two and Peighton Bledsoe scored one.