ADAMS TOWNSHIP – Miami Trace scored the first 12 points at Clinton-Massie Saturday and that was the difference in the Panthers’ 42-30 victory that solidified first place in the South Central Ohio League.
“I’ll be honest with you. Our kids have been locked in the last two days of practice. We’ve probably had two of the better practices we’ve had all year,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “We thought our kids would come out with good energy today. We had a lot of kids step up and make plays.”
Miami Trace’s Victoria Fliehman led all scorers with 19 points. Johanna Theetge led Massie with 11 points.
On the other side, Clinton-Massie head coach Carlos Roberts lamented the Falcons’ second straight loss and a missed opportunity to lock up Trace (14-2, 9-1) and McClain (12-3, 7-2) in a virtual three-way tie atop the SCOL.
“We have to have a little better fire than what we had. We came out very slow. They came out running and that was the difference,” Roberts said. “They came out fired up. We came out lethargic. It showed.”
Seven points, on three different occasions, was the closest Clinton-Massie (12-3, 6-3) would get to the Panthers’ after their game-opening flurry. The latest was when a Madilyn Newton three cut Miami Trace’s advantage to 30-23 with 3:00 left in the third quarter.
Miami Trace held off Massie by throwing the kitchen sink at Massie standouts Miquela Santoro and Madison Purkey, who had 28 and eight points, respectively, in the Falcons’ 44-33 win at Miami Trace Dec. 2.
“Purkey has killed us for two years,” Ackley said. “She’s a kid who loves to take the big shot. She’s very capable and has good range. Santoro is so quick and strong with the basketball. We knew, if we had any chance to come into their place and win, we had to limit (Santoro’s) looks. We think we have several kids who are good man-to-man players, but Santoro is so good we didn’t think one kid could stop her one-on-one.”
“We were ready to make the rest of their kids beat us. We just wanted to pack the zone in and make other people shoot. It worked today.”
Trace held Purkey to five points, which came on back-to-back possessions immediately after Trace’s 12-0 spurt. The Panthers held Santoro to just four points, which all came early in the third quarter.
In the JV game, Sydney Leary and Newton led Massie to a 37-32 victory with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Becca Ratliff led the Panthers with 14.
Miami Trace is back in action Wednesday, returning to Clinton County for another SCOL game, this time at Wilmington High School. The j-v game starts at 5:30 p.m.
Elsewhere around the SCOL Saturday, Chillicothe beat Washington, 55-43; East Clinton defeated Hillsboro, 53-44 and McClain beat Wilmington, 40-33.
The updated SCOL standings finds Miami Trace on top at 9-1 (14-2 overall); McClain is in second place at 7-2 (12-3 overall); Clinton-Massie and Chillicothe are now tied for third place at 6-3. Massie is 12-3 overall, the Lady Cavs are 11-5 overall.
Wilmington is in fifth place at 4-5 (7-7 overall); Washington is sixth at 3-7 (6-9 overall); Hillsboro is 1-7 (1-13 overall) and East Clinton is 1-8 (3-11 overall).
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 12 11 9 10 – 42
C-M 5 5 13 7 – 30
MIAMI TRACE (42) – Reisinger 2-0-5, Fliehman 5-9-19, Bryant 4-0-9, Schwartz 1-2-4, Ritenour 1-1-3, Johnston 1-0-2, Lovett 0-0-0, Napier 0-0-0. TOTALS – 14-12-42. 3-point goals: 2 (Bryant, Reisinger). Free throw shooting: 12 of 13 for 92 percent.
CLINTON-MASSIE (30) – Santoro 2-0-4, Theetge 4-3-11, Rose 1-0-3, Purkey 2-0-5, Myers 2-0-4, Fisher 0-0-0, Leary 0-0-0, Newton 1-0-3, TOTALS – 12-3-30. 3-point goals: 3 (Roser, Purkey, Newton). Free throw shooting: 3 of 5 for 60 percent.