The Miami Trace boys varsity basketball team hosted their final game against the McClain Tigers in the Panther Pit Friday night.
Miami Trace will be moving into their new high school next year and the Panther Pit will be the host for just a handful of remaining games in the 2017-18 season.
Friday, Miami Trace defeated the Tigers, 63-50, to improve to 8-7 overall, 5-1 in the Frontier Athletic Conference. The Panthers remain one game behind Chillicothe as the Cavaliers slipped past the Washington Blue Lions Friday, 53-51.
It was the first game for the Panthers since a 53-39 loss at Bexley back on Jan. 9.
McClain falls to 1-11 overall on the season.
Miami Trace senior Cameron Carter led all scorers with 26 points. Carter led his team with eight rebounds and four steals.
Senior Heath Cockerill scored 13 points.
Junior Austin Brown scored nine and senior Darby Tyree had eight points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Devin Carter led the Tigers with 21 points and a double-double performance with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Garrison Banks scored eight and Justin Osborne and Ethan Cockerill were next, both with six points.
Miami Trace led 18-12 at the end of the first quarter and 29-19 at the half.
The Panthers extended their lead to 46-26 at the end of three quarters of play.
The Tigers picked their offense up a notch in the fourth quarter, scoring 24 points to 17 for Miami Trace for the 63-50 final.
“We were pleased with our start, offensively,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “Any time you can make shots starting out the game, it certainly helps.
“The problem was, we weren’t guarding,” Pittser said. “We weren’t contesting shots; our hands were down on shots. That was our problem there in the first quarter, we didn’t guard well enough to keep a lead that we had with the fast start.
“Some of the rough edges that we had could have been related to the 10-day lay-off,” Pittser said.
“Credit to coach (Jesse) Mitchell,” Pittser said. “Their kids, down 20, had a lot of fight left in them. You expect that from a program that’s had as much success as they have had. They scrapped and fought and clawed and that’s the sign of a team that’s bought into what the coach is telling them. He’s doing a nice job with that group.
“A win in the league is good any night,” Pittser said. “It was good to get back in the gym and hopefully get us back in a good flow this weekend.”
“My kids don’t quit,” Mitchell said. “That’s the great thing about my kids. It’s been a long stretch. We’ve lost a bunch in a row. You can’t tell that at our practices. We keep battling and we keep getting better. We can’t blame inexperience anymore. We have to grow from it.
“Devin was the first one in the locker room and he said, ‘we missed too many lay-ups, coach,’” Mitchell said. “And we did, and not just him. That’s part of the game. You’ve got to put the ball through the hole. When we did in the fourth quarter, we got a little energy and made things happen.”
Miami Trace is back at home Saturday against Ross Southeastern beginning with the freshman game at 4:45 p.m.
The Tigers are taking part in the Dave Young Classic at North Adams High School Saturday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 18 11 17 17 — 63
Mc 12 7 7 24 — 50
MIAMI TRACE — Cameron Carter 5 (2)-10-26; Heath Cockerill 2 (3)-0-13; Austin Brown 3-3-9; Darby Tyree 4-0-8; Austin Mathews 1-2-4; Brett Lewis 0 (1)-0-3; Matt Fender 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (6)-15-60. Free throw shooting: 15 of 21 for 71 percent. Three-point field goals: Cockerill, 3; Carter, 2; Lewis. Combined field goal shooting: 21 of 42 for 50 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 6 of 12 for 50 percent. Rebounds: 26 (6 offensive). Assists: 14. Steals: 21. Blocks: 4. Turnovers: 16. Personal fouls: 13. Bench points: 4. Second chance points: 4. Points off turnovers: 20.
McCLAIN — Kobe Penwell 0-4-4; Dakotah Duncan 0-0-0; Ethan Cockerill 1 (1)-1-6; Devin Carter 10-1-21; Landree Gray 2-1-5; Justin Osborne 1 (1)-1-6; Garrison Banks 1 (2)-0-8; Dakota Irvin 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (4)-8-50. Free throw shooting: 8 of 17 for 47 percent. Three-point field goals: Banks, 2; Cockerill, Osborne. Rebounds: 30 (13 offensive). Combined field goal shooting: 19 of 53 for 35 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 14 for 28 percent. Assists: 12. Steals: 7. Blocks: 1. Turnovers: 17. Personal fouls: 14. Bench points: 8. Second chance points: 10. Points off turnovers: 2.
Chris Hoppes is the Sports Editor for the Record-Herald in Washington Court House.