CHILLICOTHE — The Miami Trace Lady Panthers played at Chillicothe High School Saturday, Dec. 10.
The Cavaliers entered the game at 3-0 in the Frontier Athletic Conference, tied with Jackson and one game ahead of Miami Trace.
In the end, this game stayed frustratingly just out of reach for Miami Trace as Chillicothe posted a 55-53 victory.
Oftentimes, when a team has 25 turnovers, the result is not particularly close.
It was not the case on this night as indeed, Miami Trace had 25 turnovers and still had the ball in the final seconds with a shot to win or tie and send the game into overtime.
There can be any number of things to look at and to find in a close result like this.
A couple of the keys: Chillicothe won the battle of the offensive boards, 17-5.
Chillicothe was able to score at least nine points off their offensive rebounds.
Turnovers were another thorn in Miami Trace’s side, with 25 to 15 for the Cavaliers.
Chillicothe scored at least 10 points following a Miami Trace turnover. On four of those occasions, Miami Trace was bringing the ball up the floor, trailing by just one point, when the turnover occurred.
Chillicothe had more chances at the free throw line than did Miami Trace (25 to 16) and the Cavs outscored Miami Trace from the foul line, 19 to 11.
In spite of these factors falling in favor of Chillicothe, Miami Trace trailed by just one point, 54-53, after a lay-up by sophomore Ellie Robinette with 24 seconds to play.
Miami Trace was forced to foul and Chillicothe missed the front end of the one and bonus.
Trailing by one, Miami Trace turned the ball over with 20.1 seconds to play.
This time in the double bonus, Chillicothe missed the first free throw and, after a time out, made the second to make it 55-53 with 8.7 seconds to play.
Bringing the ball up court, Miami Trace had a shot to tie (or win the game), but the shot was no good, as Chillicothe held on for the hard-fought victory.
“We knew this was going to be a dog-fight,” Miami Trace head coach Kayla Dettwiller said. “Chillicothe is returning their three core players from a year ago, including the (FAC) player of the year (Jacey Harding). Jacey’s a nice player; she does a lot of good stuff. She’s quick off the dribble; she can pull up and elevate and shoot over the top of people. She’s a difference-maker.
“On defense, when she’s out there and you think you have an open pass, it’s like she’s a seven-foot tall center, she can read that pass, jump and go get it,” Dettwiller said. “We had some lapses there late in the first half.
“At halftime, we challenged them to rise above the mistakes that came in the first half and come back in this game and beat them,” Dettwiller said. “Our kids came back. I thought the second half was a great half of basketball. Both teams were battling really hard. The game got physical there for a while, but, both teams played through it. The ball didn’t fall our way at the end of the night.”
“We knew for a fact that Miami Trace was going to give us their best game,” Chillicothe head coach Anthony Gordon said. “They are incredibly well-coached. ‘Bean’ Jacobs, the McCoy kid, Stewart — they just have an incredible team. We knew we were going to get their best effort.
“Those games are games we lost last year,” Gordon said. “Those four-point games in the fourth quarter. (It shows) just a lot of maturity from our kids to be able to come out of timeouts with confidence and close the deal on a really close, well-played ball game.
“I think our pressure early allowed us to build a lead and then it was just maintaining it (after that),” Gordon said. “I think we made them play at our pace in the first half. In the second half, they kind of switched the game on us.”
Miami Trace began the second half on a 6-0 run, quickly closing the gap and setting the stage for the close encounter the rest of the way.
“We started to play at their pace, which is not the way we like to play basketball,” Gordon said. “They slowed us down a little bit because they were scoring the basketball and making us take it out of bounds, not allowing us to push in transition. We’re a transition team. We need to get up and down to have success and they did a great job of taking us out of that, especially in the third quarter.”
Miami Trace senior Hillery ‘Bean’ Jacobs, was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points. Jacobs had six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Senior Mallory Lovett was active on the glass, leading Miami Trace with 10 rebounds.
Junior Jessee Stewart scored 12 points, including hitting both of Miami Trace’s three-point field goals.
Sophomore Nevaeh Lyons scored six points and had five rebounds.
Senior Hillary McCoy had six points, four rebounds and three assists.
Senior Jacey Harding led Chillicothe with 17 points, including both of the Cavs’ three-point field goals.
Senior Avery Erslan scored 14 points.
Junior Nyanna Hatfield chipped in eight points for Chillicothe.
Miami Trace was 20 of 50 from the field for 40 percent.
Chillicothe made 17 out of 55 field goal tries for 31 percent.
Showing the back and forth nature of the game, the lead changed hands 11 times in the first half.
However, Chillicothe led by seven at the half (33-26) and did not relinquish the lead at any point in the second half. Miami Trace was five times able to pull to within one point in the second half and for a brief moment, with an old-fashioned three-point play by Jacobs, the game was tied, 43-43 with 1:05 to play in the third quarter.
Miami Trace is now 4-4 overall, 2-2 in the FAC with a non-conference game against Meadowdale at home Wednesday.
Chillicothe improves to 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the FAC, tied with Jackson. The Ironladies defeated McClain Saturday, 49-35, to lift their record to 4-0 in the conference. Chillicothe plays Jackson Saturday, Dec. 17. McClain is now 1-3 in the FAC. Hillsboro is 2-6 overall, 0-3 in the FAC. Hillsboro hosts Washington Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
On Friday, Miami Trace’s j-v girls team will play at Washington High School at 5 p.m
The freshman boys game will be next followed by the j-v boys game.
The Miami Trace and Washington varsity teams play in a doubleheader Saturday at Washington High School. The girls’ varsity game is set for a 6 p.m. tip with the varsity boys to follow.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 14 12 17 10 — 53
C 15 18 13 9 — 55
MIAMI TRACE — Ellie Robinette 2-2-6; Kaelin Pfeifer 0-2-2; Hillary McCoy 3-0-6; Sue Morris 0-1-1; Jessee Stewart 2 (2)-2-12; Nevaeh Lyons 2-2-6; Mallory Lovett 0-0-0; Hillery Jacobs 9-2-20; Ryleigh Vincent 0-0-0. TOTALS — 18 (2)-11-53. Free throw shooting: 11 of 16 for 69 percent. Three-point field goals: Stewart, 2. Field goal shooting: 20 of 50 for 40 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 10 for 20 percent. Turnovers: 25. Assists: 8. Steals: 9. Rebounds: 30 (5 offensive).
CHILLICOTHE — Jacey Harding 4 (2)-3-17; Addy Mendel 0-0-0; Savannah Knapp 0-0-0; Nyanna Hatfield 2-4-8; Avery Cox 0-2-2; Miranda McCloy 1-1-3; Avery Erslan 4-6-14; Pagie Huggins 2-2-6; Kendra Allen 1-1-3; Kierra Archer 1-0-2. TOTALS — 15 (2)-19-55. Free throw shooting: 19 of 25 for 76 percent. Three-point field goals: Harding, 2. Field goal shooting: 17 of 55 for 31 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 13 for 15 percent. Turnovers: 15. Offensive rebounds: 17.