The Miami Trace Panthers varsity basketball team hosted the then No. 7 team in the state in Division II, the Waverly Tigers, Saturday evening, Jan. 29.
It was a Tigers kind of weekend as the night before the Panthers hosted the McClain Tigers.
Many feel that Waverly and McClain will be the top two seeds in the upcoming Sectional tournament. That announcement is forthcoming on Sunday.
On Saturday, Waverly topped the Panthers, 65-54.
Miami Trace junior Andrew Guthrie was the game’s leading scorer with 33 points. He hit two three-point field goals.
Sophomore Eli Fliehman was next in scoring for Miami Trace with eight points, including one three.
The Tigers were led by senior Trey Robertson, arguably the top player in the Southeast District, with 28 points.
Senior Will Futhey scored 23 points for the Tigers.
“Waverly is going to keep coming at you,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “They’re explosive scoring the ball. They have the best player in the district. (Trey) Robertson is as good as they come. As good as his dad (Travis Robertson, a star at Washington High School) was, I think he’s even better, and that’s saying something, because Travis was quite a player.
“We knew that (Robertson) was going to be a really tough guard,” Ackley said. “It puts you in compromising positions everywhere else, because you put so much attention on him.
“I thought our kids did a good job tonight of being resilient,” Ackley said. “They made their runs, but we kept fighting back. We were extremely concerned with the physicality of last night’s game, what it took out of our kids. We didn’t even shoot around today. We wanted to make sure the kids got more time to sleep in.
“Our kids have no quit in them,” Ackley said. “They have a lot of grit. They believe. They believe when they take the floor, they’re supposed to win. Going into the tournament, (McClain) and Waverly will be your one and two (seeds) and we played toe-to-toe with both of them.
“From where we started to where we’re at, I couldn’t be any more proud of our kids and our staff,” Ackley said. “Everyone has worked so hard to get where we’re at. I wish the results were different, but, as we keep telling them, ‘you work hard long enough, good things are going to happen.’”
“Today wasn’t what we expect out of (our team),” Waverly head coach Travis Robertson said. “The great thing is, we got to play against a team that has a dominant big. It gave us another look at a different type of team for the tournament. After playing them today, I think there are a few things we’d go back and do differently.
“You have to give (Andrew Guthrie) credit,” Robertson said. “That dude has great feet, great hands. He’s 6-8, pushing 300 pounds, he’s a load in there. If you let him get to his spot, you’re in trouble. What we didn’t want to have happen was let him get to his spot. He found a way there and they got him the ball and he was able to finish. He shot a really high percentage today. I saw him play last night and he struggled a little bit. Today he made everything he shot. He knocked down a couple of threes. That last one he stepped into it and it was pure.
“They handled the ball fairly well against our pressure,” Robertson said. “We were too passive when we caught the ball in the high post. We didn’t make the right reads for the plays. That’s what (Miami Trace) was wanting. They’re saying, ‘hey, let somebody else score, we’re not going to let Trey score. We’ll let someone else try and beat us.’ We didn’t take advantage of that until late.
“We’ve got guys who have played basketball pretty much their whole lives,” Robertson said. “We’ve got to be consistent and ready to play when we hit the floor. We’ve got guys that are just way too inconsistent and just not ready to play from the tip. They’ve got to learn real quick that it takes 32 minutes and if you’re not willing to do it for 32 minutes, you’re not going to be playing.”
Miami Trace (6-13 overall) played at Waynesville Tuesday and is scheduled to play at Washington High School Saturday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 4 19 19 12 — 54
W 15 14 13 23 — 65
MIAMI TRACE — Hayden Hunter 2-0-4; Eli Fliehman 2 (1)-1-8; Garrett Guess 0-0-0; Brady Armstrong 0 (1)-0-3; Bryson Osborne 0-0-0; Austin Boedeker 2-0-4; Bryson Sheets 1-0-2; Andrew Guthrie 11 (2)-5-33. TOTALS — 18 (4)-6-54. Free throw shooting: 6 of 11 for 55 percent. Three-point field goals: Guthrie, 2; Fliehman, Armstrong.
WAVERLY — Mark Stulley 1-1-3; Trey Robertson 8 (1)-9-28; Wade Futhey 0-0-0; Braylon Robertson 0 (2)-1-7; Penn Morrison 2-0-4; Will Futhey 10-3-23. TOTALS — 21 (3)-14-65. Free throw shooting: 14 of 19 for 74 percent. Three-point field goals: B. Robertson, 2; T. Robertson.