CHILLICOTHE — The Miami Trace Lady Panthers visited Chillicothe High School Wednesday night hoping to get a win to secure a share of first place in the South Central Ohio League.
Ranked No. 11 this week in the state in Division II by the Associated Press, Miami Trace came in with a 13-game winning streak.
In a game with major ebbs and flows, Miami Trace was able to squeak out a 46-44 victory, indeed clinching at least a share of the SCOL title. Miami Trace is now 12-1 in the SCOL, 17-2 overall.
Miami Trace has yet another tough game in front of them when they travel down SR 41 to Greenfield to take on the McClain Lady Tigers Saturday. The j-v game starts at 5:30 p.m.
McClain is 8-2 in the SCOL.
The other three games in the SCOL — Washington at Hillsboro, McClain vs. East Clinton and Wilmington vs. Clinton-Massie — were all postponed Wednesday.
It was a good start to the game for Miami Trace, as they took a 9-4 lead with three minutes to play in the first period.
Chillicothe went on a 6-0 run to lead 10-9 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter of the game was by far the best for Chillicothe.
The Lady Cavs were trapping out of a 1-3-1 defense and came up with numerous steals that led to buckets on the offensive end.
Chillicothe outscored Miami Trace 20-8 in the second quarter to take a 30-17 lead into the locker room at the break.
Whatever adjustments were made, whatever was said by the coaches during the intermission, probably no one was ready for what happened in the third quarter.
Miami Trace came out poised and ready to go and slowly, but surely, began to climb back into the contest.
The first 2:50 of the third quarter was scoreless for both teams.
With 5:10 left to play in the third, Victoria Fliehman, hit one of two from the free throw line.
Cassidy Lovett hit two free throws and then scored off a Chillicothe turnover, converting the old-fashioned three-point play after the foul.
Tanner Bryant, who led Miami Trace with 12 points, hit a pair of free throws with 3:35 to play in the period.
After another Chillicothe turnover, Miami Trace missed a shot; however, as the ball was going out of bounds, Fliehman saved the ball. Leaping out of bounds, Fliehman flipped the ball back over her head to Lovett, who received the ball and scored. She was fouled, but this free throw was no good, leaving Miami Trace down by just three points, 30-27.
Fliehman hit a pair of free throws and Samantha Ritenour scored to give Miami Trace a 31-30 lead.
Bryant scored quickly off a steal to make it 33-30.
Somewhat improbably, Miami Trace outscored Chillicothe 16-0 in the third quarter in a dramatic reversal of fortunes.
Bryant started the fourth quarter with a bucket to give the Lady Panthers a 35-30. That marked the end of an 18-0 run as Cheyenne Smith scored Chillicothe’s first points of the second half at the 7:15 mark of the fourth quarter.
Miami Trace put a little 5-0 run together with a free throw from Bryant and buckets by Fliehman and Ritenour.
Miami Trace led 40-32 with 5:25 to play in the game.
It was at this juncture that Chillicothe began to once again find its shooting touch.
First, it was Osh Brown scoring and, after a couple of turnovers by Miami Trace and misfires on the part of Chillicothe, Shawntel Smith hit a three to pull the Lady Cavs to within three points, 40-37 with 3:32 to play in the game.
Ritenour made two free throws, but Smith hit another three to make it 42-40 with just over three minutes remaining.
After a jump ball, the possession of which stayed with Miami Trace, Alexis Schwartz hit a three-point shot to make it 45-40.
The Lady Cavs made two free throws and Brown scored for Chillicothe off a steal to make it 45-44 with 1:48 to play.
Just moments later, Miami Trace had another turnover.
Chillicothe called for timeout with 59.9 seconds remaining.
The Cavs missed their shot attempt and Miami Trace had the ball and called for time with 25.4 seconds left.
Chillicothe fouled, sending Bryant to the line with 16.5 seconds to play.
Bryant made one of two throws, leaving the door open for the Cavaliers to potentially win the game in the final seconds, or, at least send it into overtime.
Miami Trace was able to knock the ball away from Chillicothe with 4.2 seconds left.
Upon in-bounding the ball, Chillicothe had three shot attempts in the lane, but each one was just a little off, giving Miami Trace the hard-fought 46-44 victory.
“We didn’t do a very good job of handling their pressure,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Ackley said. “It’s hard to duplicate what they do to you; they pressure you no matter where you’re at.
“Pat (Chillicothe head coach Beard) does such a good job with them,” Ackley said. “They’re great at forcing turnovers, trapping you, putting you in positions you’re not used to being in.
“We struggled with their pressure a good bit in the second quarter,” Ackley said. “We thought we were in a good spot to only be down by 13. We have some kids that can do some things, they just weren’t doing them.
“We knew we’d need some help from Chillicothe and they did miss some shots at the rim,” Ackley said. “Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. I would definitely say we were very lucky tonight.
“I hope we don’t see them again in the Sectional tournament,” Ackley said. “Anywhere except Chillicothe. I can’t say enough about coach Beard and his team.”
“As soon as we came out to start the second half, I looked at my assistant coach and I said, ‘I’m scared,’” Chillicothe head coach Pat Beard said. “We had been playing so well the first two quarters. I told the girls, the first three minutes of the third quarter are the most important in the game. I think we got two or three shots off in the first three minutes.
“I have to credit coach Ackley and his ball club,” Beard said. “Every time we cut the middle, they met us there. They kind of got in our girls’ heads.
“In the first two quarters, I thought we played tremendous basketball,” Beard said. “We were high tempo, up and down the court. We really had them out of their game. Then, in the second half, they flipped a switch. They applied some pressure on us. We kind of got nervous. We started making some passes we normally don’t make.
“I’m going to look at this game film and I’m sure I’m going to see a lot of things I could have done differently as a coach,” Beard said. “We’re going to get better. I thought we played well. We were in this game. We have to learn from this. Hopefully, we’ll see them again in the tournament.”
Chillicothe has a game Thursday against Clinton-Massie.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 9 8 16 13 — 46
C 10 20 0 14 — 44
MIAMI TRACE — Kyla Johnston 0-0-0; Cassidy Lovett 2-3-7; Hanna Reisinger 1-0-2; Victoria Fliehman 1 (1)-4-9; Tanner Bryant 4-4-12; Alexis Schwartz 1 (2)-0-8; Samantha Ritenour 2-4-8. TOTALS — 11 (3)-15-46. Free throw shooting: 15 of 22 for 68 percent. Three-point field goals: Schwartz, 2; Fleihman. Combined field goal shooting: 14 of 29 for 48 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 10 for 30 percent. Turnovers: 18. Rebounds: 27 (7 offensive). Assists: 8. Steals: 4.
CHILLICOTHE — Tanea Cousins 0-0-0; Shawnee Smith 2 (2)-4-14; Shawna Smith 0-0-0; Essence Devlin 1 (1)-0-5; Shawntel Smith 2 (2)-0-10; Osh Brown 4-1-9; Jasmine Jordan 2-0-4; Rylee Putnam 1-0-2. TOTALS — 12 (5)-5-44. Free throw shooting: 5 of 10 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Shawnee Smith, 2; Shawntel Smith, 2; Devlin. Combined field goal shooting: 17 of 46 for 37 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 5 of 13 for 38 percent. Turnovers: 10. Offensive rebounds: 10.
In the j-v game Wednesday, Miami Trace defeated Chillicothe, 30-21.
For Miami Trace (13-5 overall, 10-3 SCOL), Becca Ratliff was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points.
Morgan Miller had nine, Olivia Wolffe three and Tori Evans had one.
Marlee Brown led Chillicothe with six points.
A trio of players, Hayden Price, Daelyn Fry and Jenna Muirhead, each scored for points for the Cavaliers.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 8 4 7 11 — 30
C 4 8 8 1 — 21
MIAMI TRACE — Kaylee Hauck 0-0-0; Becca Ratliff 4 (2)-3-17; Olivia Wolffe 1-1-3; Morgan Miller 2 (1)-2-9; Krissy Ison 0-0-0; Tori Evans 0-1-1; Rachael Campbell 0-0-0; Jessica Camp 0-0-0; Lena Steele 0-0-0. TOTALS — 7 (3)-7-30. Free throw shooting: 7 of 10 for 70 percent. Three-point field goals: Ratliff, 2; Miller. Combined field goal shooting: 10 of 32 for 31 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 7 for 43 percent. Turnovers: 14.
CHILLICOTHE — Hayden Price 1-2-4; Meliah Johnson 1-1-3; Daelyn Fry 2-0-4; Rebecca Corbin 0-0-0; Shelby Dunham 0-0-0; Marlee Brown 2-2-6; Rylee Putnam 0-0-0; Jenna Muirhead 1-2-4. TOTALS — 7-7-21. Free throw shooting: 7 of 14 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: none. Combined field goal shooting: 7 of 30 for 23 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 0 of 3. Turnovers: 14.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1