It was a early season meeting of two of the top teams in the South Central Ohio League when the McClain Lady Tigers visited Miami Trace Wednesday evening to take on the Lady Panthers.
Both teams, along with Clinton-Massie, entered the fray with just one league loss.
Miami Trace had its best offensive quarter right at the outset, scoring 18 points on the way to an exciting 45-44 victory.
Miami Trace is now 6-1 in the SCOL, 7-2 overall.
McClain is now 4-2 in the SCOL, 6-2 overall.
Clinton-Massie beat the Washington Lady Blue Lions Wednesday, 58-38, to improve to 5-1 in the SCOL.
In the fourth quarter Wednesday, McClain led by three points three times and led once by four points, 44-40, with just over one minute remaining.
After Miami Trace missed a field goal attempt, McClain had the ball with the above-mentioned four-point lead.
McClain suffered a turnover and Miami Trace senior Alexis Schwartz made a 10-footer from the baseline to make it 44-42. The Lady Panthers quickly called time out with 50.9 seconds to play.
McClain’s next possession also resulted in a turnover. Miami Trace signaled for a time out with 20.8 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing play, Miami Trace sophomore Tanner Bryant was fouled with 9.7 seconds to go.
She made the first free throw, but missed the second.
The ball was rebounded by Miami Trace freshman Cassidy Lovett, who quickly passed to Bryant who squared herself to the basket and made the shot, giving the Lady Panthers a 45-44 lead.
McClain called for a time out with 5 seconds to play.
The Lady Tigers had to take the ball the length of the floor. McClain got a shot away at the buzzer, but, it was no good, ending this well-matched game with a one-point victory for the Lady Panthers.
McClain junior Taylor Polley was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points.
Juniors Beth Montgomery and Malea Montavon scored seven and six points, respectively.
Bryant led a trio in double figures for Miami Trace with 14 points.
Junior Hanna Reisinger scored 11 points and junior Samantha Ritenour had 10 points
Miami Trace led 18-11 at the end of the first quarter.
It was 25-23 Miami Trace at the half.
McClain outscored Miami Trace by one point in the third quarter to make it a 36-35 game heading into the final period.
“It was a game of runs both ways,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “We just were fortunate to make the last shot. McClain played us very hard for 32 minutes.
“I thought the kids’ energy level was good,” Ackley said. “I thought we executed on both ends, which is what you’re supposed to do. I thought McClain did a very good job of stemming the tide and making their run to come back. We thought we had a pretty good grip on the first half, but, they were right there.”
“We came out flat,” McClain head coach Jarrod Haines said. “We got back in it in the second quarter.
“We just made uncharacteristic mistakes down the stretch,” Haines said. “Just not taking care of the basketball when we needed to, missing some defensive assignments and not boxing out.
“They out-worked us there at the end and that was the difference in the game,” Haines said.
Miami Trace will play at McClain on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016.
Elsewhere in the SCOL Wednesday, Chillicothe defeated East Clinton, 68-31 and Wimington beat Hillsboro, 68-48.
Miami Trace is back in action Saturday, hosting Unioto. The j-v game starts at 11 a.m. with the varsity to follow.
McClain is at Adena Tuesday evening.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 18 7 11 9 — 45
Mc 11 12 12 9 — 44
MIAMI TRACE — Kyla Johnston 0-0-0; Cassidy Lovett 1-1-3; Hanna Reisinger 5-1-11; Morgan Miller 0-0-0; Harmonee Napier 0 (1)-0-3; Tanner Bryant 4 (1)-3-14; Alexis Schwartz 2-0-4; Samantha Ritenour 4-2-10. TOTALS — 16 (2)-7-45. Free throw shooting: 7 of 10 for 70 percent. Combined field goal shooting: 18 of 45 for 40 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 14 for 14 percent. Turnovers: 19. Rebounds: 26 (4 offensive). Assists: 9. Steals: 7.
McCLAIN — Beth Montgomery 1 (1)-2-7; Maddy Stegbauer 1 (1)-0-5; Malea Montavon 0 (2)-0-6; Taylor Polley 4 (1)-7-18; Lexi Barton 1-1-3; Makenzie Coleman 0-0-0; Makenzie Montavon 2-1-5. TOTALS — 9 (5)-11-44. Free throw shooting: 11 of 19 for 58 percent. Combined field goal shooting: 14 of 47 for 30 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 5 of 22 for 23 percent. Turnovers: 10. Offensive rebounds: 9.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1