The last-ever game in the Panther Pit on the campus of the original Miami Trace High School featured long-time rivals the Lady Panthers going up against the Lady Tigers of McClain High School in a Frontier Athletic Conference contest.
As they have on this floor, in this building so many times before down through the decades, the teams battled tremendously.
In the end, to paraphrase Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman, this one belonged to Miami Trace.
The Lady Panthers employed a tenacious defense to defeat the Lady Tigers, 57-39.
Miami Trace improves to 12-6 overall, 6-2 in the FAC.
McClain is now 11-5 overall, 4-2 in the conference.
Miami Trace junior Shay McDonald was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points. She hit two of the Lady Panthers’ six three-point field goals.
Senior Olivia Wolffe scored 12 points, including hitting one three and senior Cassidy Lovett scored 10 points, including one three-pointer.
Lovett led her team with seven rebounds, four assists and seven steals.
For McClain, sophomore Kyla Burchett led with 11 points.
Senior Bryn Karnes and sophomore Emma Stegbauer each added seven points for McClain.
There were three lead changes in the early going.
With a three-point field goal by senior Tori Evans, Miami Trace went in front, 6-4.
Miami Trace led 17-14 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers led by as many as eight points, 24-16.
The Lady Tigers fought back with a 10-0 run with points from Stegbauer, Kelli Uhrig, Karnes and Brianna Weller to take a 26-24 lead.
With a steal and lay-in from McDonald, the game was tied, 26-26 at the half.
The turning point was a strong third quarter by Miami Trace as the Lady Panthers outscored McClain, 19-8.
McClain trailed by only two points, 36-34 with 3:54 to play in the third.
By the end of the period, Miami Trace was in front, 45-34.
The fourth was another quarter in favor of Miami Trace.
The Lady Panthers won the quarter, 12-5.
Wolffe made the final two-point basket late in the game and Lovett made the final pair of free throws with 21 seconds left.
McDonald made the last three-point field goal in the Panther Pit, that coming with about two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 17 9 19 12 — 57
Mc 14 12 8 5 — 39
MIAMI TRACE — Olivia Wolffe 4 (1)-1-12; Cassidy Lovett 2 (1)-3-10; Becca Ratliff 1-0-2; Aubrey McCoy 0-0-0; Shay McDonald 7 (2)-2-22; Tori Evans 0 (1)-0-3; Magarah Bloom 1-0-2; Libby Aleshire 0-2-2; Gracee Stewart 0 (1)-0-4; Lena Steele 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (6)-9-57. Free throw shooting: 9 of 17 for 53 percent. Three-point field goals: McDonald, 2; Wolffe, Lovett, Evans, Stewart. Field goal shooting: 21 of 45 for 47 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 6 of 16 for 38 percent. Rebounds: 29 (8 offensive). Assists: 13. Turnovers: 16. Steals: 18. Fouls: 17.
McCLAIN — Brianna Weller 2-2-6; Jaelyn Pitzer 0-2-2; Kelli Uhrig 1 (1)-1-6; Kyla Burchett 3 (1)-2-11; Bryn Karnes 2-3-7; Liz Kegley 0-0-0; Emma Stegbauer 0 (2)-1-7. TOTALS — 8 (4)-11-39. Free throw shooting: 11 of 15 for 73 percent. Three-point field goals: Stegbauer, 2; Uhrig, Burchett. Field goal shooting: 12 of 30 for 40 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 6 for 67 percent. Turnovers: 27. Offensive rebounds: 13.
Chris Hoppes is the Sports Editor for the Record Herald in Washington Court House.