The Miami Trace Lady Panthers welcomed the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs for the former’s home opener Tuesday night.
The game turned into quite a battle, featuring one player from each team who will be playing Division I college basketball in the future.
In the end, Miami Trace withstood the challenge and came away with a 50-42 victory, improving to 2-0 on the season.
For Miami Trace, senior Tanner Bryant, who recently signed to play for Florida Gulf Coast, poured in 25 points. She now has 992 career points. It was a double-double for Bryant as she grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Miami Trace.
For Lynchburg-Clay, junior Peyton Scott, who has verbally committed to Miami of Ohio, also poured in 25 points. Scott also had five rebounds, one steal and one assist.
Both team’s next highest scorers, senior Victoria Fliehman for Miami Trace and sophomore Zoe Fittro for Lynchburg-Clay, each scored 11 points.
Fliehman had six rebounds, two assists and three steals for the Lady Panthers.
That brought it down to the third and fourth-leading scorers, respectively.
For Miami Trace, junior Cassidy Lovett and sophomore Shay McDonald each added seven points.
While, for Lynchburg-Clay, sophomore Logan Binkley scored four points and senior Abby Blankenship scored two.
“Miami Trace is a great team,” Lynchburg-Clay head coach Whitney Lewis said. “We knew this was going to be a heck of a ball game.
“We played our zone, I think, to the best of our ability,” Lewis said. “We covered who we needed to cover. My biggest fear was rebounding. Our tallest kid is 5-10. They have the size (advantage) on us, so we had to box out and I thought we did a pretty good job of that. I can’t ask for more on the effort side on the defensive end.
“Peyton is a special player,” Lewis said. “She’s going to have to step for us this season and I think she did that tonight. You can see the intangibles; when she has the ball, we feel comfortable and we’re able to run through our things and that opens up a lot of stuff for everybody else.”
Miami Trace took an early 7-2 lead in the ball game.
The Lady Panthers also led 12-5 until Scott’s three cut it to 12-8 at the end of the opening quarter.
The Lady Mustangs tied the game on an old-fashioned three-point play from Scott, 14-14. A pair of free throws moments later gave L-C a 16-14 lead.
Miami Trace took a 20-19 lead into the halftime locker room.
The lead changed hands five times in the third quarter. With McDonald scoring the final bucket of the period, Miami Trace led 40-35 with eight minutes remaining.
Lynchburg-Clay began to miss a few shot attempts early in the fourth quarter and that opened the door somewhat for Miami Trace.
Miami Trace went on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 49-35 with 1:34 remaining in the game.
Then it was Lynchburg-Clay’s turn and they went on a 7-0 run of their own, cutting the deficit in half with under one minute to play.
Miami Trace had built enough of a lead and time was not on the side of the Lady Mustangs on this night.
Miami Trace will be back in action at home Saturday at 5:30 p.m., opening Frontier Athletic Conference play against Chillicothe.
Lynchburg-Clay will open league play at Manchester Thursday. Tuesday was L-C’s season-opening game.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
L-C 8 11 16 7 — 42
MT 12 8 20 10 — 50
MIAMI TRACE — Olivia Wolffe 0-0-0; Cassidy Lovett 3-1-7; Becca Ratliff 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 2 (1)-0-7; Tori Evans 0-0-0; Olivia Fliehman 0-0-0; Victoria Fliehman 4 (1)-0-11; Tanner Bryant 4 (4)-5-25; Gracee Stewart 0-0-0; Morgan Miller 0-0-0. TOTALS — 13 (6)-6-50. Free throw shooting: 6 of 14 for 43 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 6 of 23 for 26 percent. Three-point field goals: Bryant, 4; V. Fliehman, McDonald. Combined field goal shooting: 19 of 52 for 37 percent. Turnovers: 6. Rebounds: 28 (11 offensive.)
LYNCHBURG-CLAY — Abby Blankenship 0-2-2; Zoe Fittro 2 (2)-1-11; Emily Pinkerton 0-0-0; Serena Smith 0-0-0; Peyton Scott 7 (2)-5-25; Logan Binkley 2-0-4. TOTALS — 11 (4)-8-42. Free throw shooting: 8 of 15 for 53 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 16 for 25 percent. Three-point field goals: Scott, 2; Fittro, 2. Combined field goal shooting: 15 of 38 for 40 percent. Turnovers: 14. Offensive rebounds: 7.
Chris Hoppes is the Sports Editor for the Record-Herald in Washington Court House.