Last season the East Clinton Astros girls varsity basketball team made it all the way to the Regional finals in the Division III tournament.
East Clinton won four games in the tournament before falling in the Regional championship game to Cincinnati Purcell Marian, 68-41.
Purcell Marian dominated in the State Final Four, winning the State semifinal game by 16 points and the State title game by an even wider margin of 24 points.
Anytime you can play a team, in this case, East Clinton, with almost all of their players back from a deep tournament run the previous season, that usually means a good test for your team.
This match-up gave the Miami Trace Lady Panthers a chance to see where their team is at in an early season challenge.
Miami Trace improved to 4-2 on the season with a 58-46 victory over the Astros Saturday, Dec. 3.
In a somewhat rare occurrence, both teams shot better from outside the three-point line than they did overall.
Miami Trace made 7 of 14 three-point attempts for a very fine 50 percent.
Not to be outdone, East Clinton made 7 of 13 threes for 54 percent.
Overall, Miami Trace was a little better, making 22 of 49 field goal attempts for 45 percent to 16 of 39 for 41 percent for East Clinton.
Another recipe for success more often than not is when a team has four players in double figures.
That proved true for Miami Trace with a quartet in double figures in scoring, led by senior Hillery ‘Bean’ Jacobs with 17 points.
Sophomore Nevaeh Lyons scored 11, senior Hillary McCoy scored 10 and junior Jessee Stewart had 10 points.
Jacobs made three three-point field goals, while Stewart and Lyons each had two.
Jacobs led Miami Trace with seven rebounds and three steals, to go along with three assists.
McCoy was next with five rebounds and a team-high five assists.
Lyons had three rebounds.
“We shared the ball well tonight,” Miami Trace head coach Kayla Dettwiller said. “We shot it really well, early on in the first half. That’s probably the best shooting night we’ve had all season.
“The kids were really unselfish, they moved the ball well,” Dettwiller said. “They were looking for their teammates. Offensively we did a nice job getting kids in the scoring column.”
Miami Trace realized East Clinton would present a challenge.
“We knew they were going to be tough,” Dettwiller said. “They’re well-coached. They’re very smart in the way they play. They run their offense efficiently. They’ve got some height, so they crash the boards well. They get in there and they give themselves second-chance opportunities.”
East Clinton out-rebounded Miami Trace on the offensive boards, 10-5.
Senior Kami Whiteaker led the Astros with 14 points, including two threes.
Junior Jordan Collom scored nine points (with three three-point field goals).
Senior Libby Evanshine scored nine points, senior Jozie Jones had six points and senior Jayden Murphy scored six points (two threes).
East Clinton began the game Saturday with a 10-3 lead.
Miami Trace had a nice run of 11-4 to tie the game, 14-14 after one quarter of play.
The Lady Panthers shot the ball just a touch better in the second quarter, making 7 of 13 field goal attempts for 54 percent after shooting it at 50 percent in the first quarter.
East Clinton shot 60 percent from the field in the first quarter and tapered down to 38 percent. In the second quarter.
At one point, Miami Trace was on a 26-8 scoring surge in the first half.
The scoring was 17-12 in favor of Miami Trace in the second quarter as the home team took a 31-26 lead at the half.
East Clinton pulled to within four points of Miami Trace twice in the third quarter. Still, it was a 10-point lead for the Lady Panthers heading into the fourth quarter.
Miami Trace protected its lead, taking it up to as many as 15 points before the end came with the Lady Panthers putting a 58-46 win into its score book.
East Clinton (5-1 overall) is at Clermont Northeastern Monday and at Georgetown Thursday.
Miami Trace will return to Frontier Athletic Conference play at Jackson Monday and at Chillicothe Saturday, Dec. 10. Miami Trace, Jackson and Chillicothe start the week each at 2-0 in the FAC.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 14 17 14 13 — 58
EC 14 12 9 11 — 46
MIAMI TRACE — Ellie Robinette 0-0-0; Kaelin Pfeifer 2-0-4; Hillary McCoy 3-4-10; Sue Morris 0-2-2; Jessee Stewart 2 (2)-0-10; Nevaeh Lyons 2 (2)-1-11; Mallory Lovett 1-0-2; Hillery Jacobs 4 (3)-0-17; Ryleigh Vincent 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (7)-7-58. Free throw shooting: 7 of 10 for 70 percent. Three-point field goals: Jacobs, 3; Stewart, 2; Lyons, 2. Field goal shooting: 22 of 49 for 45 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 7 of 14 for 50 percent. Rebounds: 21 (5 offensive). Turnovers: 10. Assists: 12. Steals: 7. Fouls: 13.
EAST CLINTON — Jordan Collom 0 (3)-0-9; Libby Evanshine 4-1-9; Megan Hadley 0-2;2; Kami Whitaker 3 (2)-2-14; Jozie Jones 2-2-6; Lauren Stonewall 0-0-0; Jayden Murphy 0 (2)-0-6. TOTALS — 9 (7)-7-46. Free throw shooting — 7 of 10 for 70 percent. Three-point field goals: Collom, 3; Whitaker, 2; Murphy, 2. Field goal shooting: 16 of 39 for 41 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 7 of 13 for 54 percent. Turnovers: 14. Offensive rebounds: 10.
Miami Trace wins j-v game with East Clinton
In the j-v game Saturday night, Miami Trace beat East Clinton, 24-21 to move to 3-2 overall.
Bella Shull was the game’s leading scorer for Miami Trace with 11 points. She had one three-point field goal.
Katy Bock scored five points (with one three), and Cali Kirkpatrick and Kamika Bennett each scored four points for Miami Trace.
Chloe Scott led East Clinton with eight points. Abbi Reynolds scored seven points. Both players hit one three-point field goal.
Megan Hadley scored four points and Keira Null had two for East Clinton.
It was 7-6 Miami Trace at the end of the first quarter and 13-12 Panthers at halftime.
Miami Trace outscored East Clinton 9-3 in the third quarter and a 6-2 fourth quarter for East Clinton put the final at 24-21, Miami Trace.