For the second night in a row, basketball teams from McClain High School visited Miami Trace High School Friday to take on the Panthers.
On Thursday night, a very large crowd filed into the gym at Miami Trace to watch the girls’ varsity teams battle for first place in the Frontier Athletic Conference.
Friday, another large crowd turned out to watch the boys’ version of this rivalry on the hardwood.
In a close, exciting and entertaining game, Miami Trace came away with a 58-53 victory.
The Panthers improve to 11-8 overall, 5-3 in the FAC.
McClain is now 6-12 overall, 3-5 in the conference.
The game’s leading scorer was McClain sophomore Bryson Badgley, who poured in 21 points. He hit three of McClain’s four three-point field goals. Badgley blocked one Miami Trace shot.
Sophomore Preston Saunders scored nine points (he had McClain’s other three) and junior Camden Closson had eight points.
For the Panthers, freshman Andrew Guthrie led with 14 points. He also had six rebounds and one blocked shot.
Junior Logan Rodgers had another double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.
Junior Cameron Moore was also in double figures for the Panthers, scoring 10 points. He hit two three-point shots and senior Trevor Barker, with nine points, connected for the Panthers’ other three-point field goal.
“Our guys brought a winning effort,” McClain head coach Joe B. Stewart said. “It wasn’t a win on the scoreboard, but, all the intangibles that we needed to stay with these guys, our guys found a way to do that.
“We scrapped on the floor,” Stewart said. “We took the ball at the basket on them. I’m rather cliché-ridden here, but, this one doesn’t feel like a loss to us. It was 40-26 (Miami Trace) at our place (on Dec. 13). Our guys really invested themselves in this one.
“We thought we had a real opportunity here,” Stewart said. “We got it back to a one-possession game as it was coming down and we just needed one more stop to really be in it. That’s a good place to be for this group of guys and how far they’ve come.”
“As you know, anytime you can get a win against Greenfield McClain in February, you have to earn it and certainly we had to do that tonight,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said.
Miami Trace won the battle of the boards, with 29 total rebounds to 16 for McClain. The Panthers had 13 offensive rebounds to four for the Tigers.
That stat led to another key to the game, second chance points.
Miami Trace scored 16 points after getting an offensive rebound, while McClain had just two points on a second chance during the same possession.
“We’re fortunate to have the size that we have,” Pittser said. “That’s kind of changed how we play. In years past, we’ve typically been up-tempo and guard-oriented and a lot of pressure man-to-man and running and jumping. Now we’ve got a different make-up.
“Most of our stuff is geared towards catches around the rim, especially on our out of bounds stuff,” Pittser said. “And we hope our guys will pound the glass. Every team has an advantage of some type and you have to exercise that. We’ve preached to our kids all season that we have to take advantage of our size and rebounding is a big part of that.”
Pittser spoke about the close nature of Friday’s game.
“The way coach Stewart coaches them up, that’s what’s going to happen,” Pittser said. “You’re not going to be able to separate yourself, scoring-wise. They’re going to find a way to stay in the game and play physical while they do it. So you have to earn every bit of it.
“This environment is something you’re going to see in the tournament,” Pittser said. “It was great for us. A big crowd, a lot of physical play, referees letting them play a lot, which is exactly what what happens in the tournament. You have to win games just like this by making your free throws down the stretch.”
Miami Trace is in action tonight at Washington High School. The boys j-v game starts at 4:30 p.m., followed by the boys varsity game and then the girls varsity game.
McClain hosts Hillsboro this evening.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 17 12 16 13 — 58
Mc 14 8 15 16 — 53
MIAMI TRACE — Andrew Guthrie 4-6-14; Logan Rodgers 5-1-11; Cameron Moore 2 (2)-0-10; Trevor Barker 3 (1)-0-9; Kyler Conn 3-2-8; Ethan Steele 2-0-4; Hayden Hunter 1-0-2; Dylan Bernard 0-0-0; Keegan Terry 0-0-0. TOTALS — 20 (3)-9-58. Free throw shooting: 9 of 14 for 64 percent. Three-point field goals: Moore, 2; Barker. Field goal shooting: 23 of 51 for 45 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 12 for 25 percent. Rebounds: 29 (13 offensive). Assists: 9. Steals: 12. Blocks: 5. Turnovers: 15. Personal fouls: 12. Bench points: 16. Second chance points: 16. Points off turnovers: 8.
McCLAIN — Bryson Badgley 5 (3)-2-21; Preston Saunders 3 (1)-0-9; Camden Closson 3-2-8; Lyle White 2-3-7; Braden Wright 1-2-4; Dakota Pollock 2-0-4; Braeden Bergstrom 0-0-0; Matt Bliss 0-0-0. TOTALS — 16 (4)-9-53. Free throw shooting: 9 of 16 for 56 percent. Three-point field goals: Badgley, 3; Saunders. Field goal shooting: 20 of 40 for 50 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 14 for 28 percent. Rebounds: 16 (4 offensive). Assists: 8. Steals: 7. Blocks: 2. Turnovers: 13. Personal fouls: 16. Bench points: 4. Second chance points: 2. Points off turnovers: 15.