GREENFIELD — It’s always an interesting match-up when Miami Trace plays McClain in any sport. On Saturday the Lady Panthers visited McClain High School to take on the Lady Tigers in a Frontier Athletic Conference game. As they often do when they fall behind, McClain fought its way back and made it a close game to the final 1.5 seconds. The Lady Panthers emerged with a 38-36 victory.
Miami Trace began the game with a 6-0 lead and also held a lead of 11-3. At the end of the first quarter, Miami Trace was in front, 11-6.
With three free throws to begin the second quarter, McClain pulled to within two points, 11-9. Moments later just two points again separated the two rivals.
Miami Trace outscored McClain 7-2 in the last three minutes of the half to take a 21-14 lead. Everyone knew that a seven-point lead; however, nice, would not be safe in this game.
“We know coming in here it’s going to be tough every year,” Miami Trace head coach and McClain High School alum Kayla Dettwiller said. “Since I’ve been at Trace, there hasn’t been a game that wasn’t tough in this gym. I think Shay McDonald was a junior the last time we won here. Some of our seniors, that was something they set as a goal. They wanted to come in here and get the win.
“We knew (McClain) was going to make some runs. They have some kids who are athletic, they’re big and they can go inside and create a little size disadvantage for us. We focused all week on team defense, helping off, being in position, talking and helping down when we needed to help down on the bigs.”
McClain coach Jarrod Haines said, “We talked to our kids (at halftime) about controlling the controllables. Missing easy bunnies, that’s a controllable; not being in help-side, that’s something you can control. I thought in the second half we did a lot better controlling the things that we can control. Our effort and our attitude is always good. Our kids play extremely hard, as you see. Our executing sometimes isn’t the best. I thought at times it was and other times it wasn’t. We fought to the end and I’m not so sure if we didn’t have two more minutes that we wouldn’t come out of here on top. I’m proud of my kids.”
The Lady Panthers led by 11 points in the early stages of the third quarter.
McClain chipped away and chopped away at the deficit, finding itself just three points behind with 1:45 to play in the period. With 1:18 to play in the third, Miami Trace’s lead was down to two points, 29-27.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Miami Trace held a 32-27 lead.
Miami Trace worked itself back to a seven-point lead on a basket by Hillary McCoy with 2:43 remaining.
McClain’s Luca Matesic hit her only bucket of the game, a three-point shot with 2:15 to go for a 36-32 Miami Trace lead. As so often is the case, it came down to free throw shooting, as McClain committed its seventh team foul with 1:48 to play and after a missed free throw by the Lady Panthers, Miami Trace fouled with just one second ticking off the clock. Lily Barnes made the one and the bonus for McClain, to make it a two-point game, 36-34.
After a missed shot by both teams, McClain sent Miami Trace to the line again. The first free throw was missed, with McClain grabbing the rebound and calling for a time out with 44 seconds to play. McClain missed a shot, got the offensive rebound, but missed another try.
After the next foul, Jessee Stewart hit both free throws for Miami Trace with 9.5 remaining.
Payton Pryor scored for McClain and a time out left 1.5 seconds on the game clock. Miami Trace had to inbound the ball and they executed a pass over the half-court line, which was enough to expend the 1.5 seconds for a 38-36 final in favor of the Lady Panthers.
McClain had eight players contribute points, led by Payton Pryor with nine. Lily Barnes had seven points and Kaitlyn Jett scored six (with a pair of three-point field goals).
Hillery “Bean” Jacobs was the game’s leading scorer for Miami Trace with 14 points. Jacobs also had five rebounds. Stewart scored 12 points for Miami Trace and led her team with two assists and four steals. Kaelin Pfeifer scored six points for the Lady Panthers and added five rebounds and two steals.
Miami Trace shot 45 percent from the field (15 of 33) to 28 percent for McClain (13 of 46). McClain had the rebounding edge, at least on the offensive glass, 13-4.
With the win, Miami Trace improved to 4-2 in the FAC, 10-5 overall.
With the loss, McClain fell to 2-4 in the conference, 4-8 overall.
In other FAC games Saturday, Jan. 7, Chillicothe beat Washington, 55-47, and Jackson took down Hillsoro, 59-47.
Jackson retains first place in the FAC at 6-0 (10-2 overall), while Chillicothe improved to 5-1 (9-2).
Washington is 1-5 in the FAC, 1-12 overall and Hillsboro fell to 0-6 in the conference, 2-13 in all games.
McClain is at Chillicothe Wednesday and Miami Trace plays at Hillsboro Wednesday with the junior-varsity game at 5:30 p.m.
McClain wins jayvee
game with Miami Trace
In Saturday’s junior-varsity game, it was McClain 32, Miami Trace 18.
For McClain, Brie Cummins led the game with eight points. Brianna Wright and Kenzie Wise both scored seven for McClain.
Bella Shull led Miami Trace with five points and Kali Kirkpatrick scored three.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MT 11 10 11 6 — 38
Mc 6 8 13 9 — 36
MIAMI TRACE — Ellie Robinette 0-0-0; Kaelin Pfeifer 3-0-6; Hillary McCoy 1-2-4; Sue Morris 0-0-0; Jessee Stewart 4-2-12; Navaeh Lyons 1-0-2; Zoey Grooms 0-0-0; Mallory Lovett 0-0-0; Hillery Jacobs 4 (1)-3-14; Ryleigh Vincent 0-0-0. TOTALS — 14 (1)-7-38. Free throw shooting: 7 of 15 for 47 percent. Three-point field goal: Jacobs. Field goal shooting: 15 of 33 for 45 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 7 for 14 percent. Rebounds: 20 (4 offensive). Turnovers: 17. Assists: 7. Steals: 8. Fouls: 15.
McCLAIN — Lillie Saunders 1-0-2; Payton Pryor 4-1-9; Luca Matesic 0 (1)-0-3; Kenzie Wise 0-0-0; Jaden McCoy 1-0-2; Haylee Havens 1-3-5; Kaitlyn Jett 0 (2)-0-6; Lily Barnes 2-3-7; Brenna Wright 0-0-0; Anna Eikenberry 1-0-2. TOTALS — 10 (3)-7-36. Free throw shooting: 7 of 12 for 58 percent. Three-point field goals: Jett, 2; Matesic. Field goal shooting: 13 of 46 for 28 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 3 of 11 for 27 percent. Turnovers: 19. Offensive rebounds: 13.
Chris Hoppes is the sports editor for the Record-Herald in Washington C.H.