Tough Loss on Saturday

The Lady Falcons faced a tough opponent on Saturday and came out on the losing end.  It was the girls first loss in the conference, but still leaves them in first place.

The Wilmington New-Journal ran a nice article which summarized the game pretty well.

By Chris Hoppes

OCM News Service

The Miami Trace Lady Panthers are not giving up the South Central Ohio League title easily.

Clinton-Massie, having already clinched at least a share of their first SCOL championship, was hoping to run the table, go 12-0 and win the “Gold Basketball.”

As determined as Clinton-Massie was to go undefeated in the league, that’s how committed Miami Trace was to not letting the Lady Falcons clinch the outright title on their floor.

It was a classic battle, befitting two very fine teams, as it played out Saturday afternoon at Miami Trace High School. On Senior Day, Miami Trace edged Clinton-Massie, 40-39, in overtime.

Clinton-Massie remains atop the SCOL standings with a record of 9-1. They are now 16-2 overall.

Miami Trace is currently alone in second at 8-3 (15-3 overall).

“At times, we didn’t play to our strengths,” Clinton-Massie head coach Allen Wilkinson said. “At times, I don’t know what we were doing. We had our opportunities; we had opportunities at the foul line. We had opportunities throughout the game.

“We have no one to blame but ourselves. We’ve never won here. I tried telling them that Trace still has a chance to tie for the league. They haven’t won the league eight years in a row for nothing.”

“They played us tough down at Massie. We were lucky to get out of there with the win. And you expect the same thing here.

“Coach Stutzman is an excellent coach. He does a super job. People need to understand what a great job he does. They are very fortunate to have coach Stutzman as their coach.”

The first quarter of Saturday’s game was the highest-scoring of the day. Miami Trace took a 17-12 lead after eight minutes of action. The game became more of a defensive struggle as it wore on.

Clinton-Massie, a team with no seniors, was led by Sydney Brackemyre, who paced all scorers with 18 points.

For the Lady Panthers, junior Deidre McKay led with 12 points and sophomore Josie Cobb had 10 points.

The lead changes hands four times in the first period. The game was tied three times in the second quarter, but Miami Trace never trailed. At the half, the Lady Panthers held a 25-23 lead.

Things began to really tighten up in the third quarter. The teams combined to score only six points. Miami Trace was 2 of 9 from the field and Clinton-Massie made just one of seven shots. The Lady Panthers led 29-25 after three.

Clinton-Massie scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to take a 30-29 lead. With Brackemyre carrying most of the offensive load, Massie took a 34-30 lead at the 2:28 mark. Ariana Mabra hit two free throws with 1:35 to play for Miami Trace.

The Falcons missed their next two shot attempts and McKay connected on a pair of free throws to tie the game, 34-34, with 41 seconds left in regulation.

The Falcons had a chance to win the game, in fact, two chances in the final moments. They missed a field goal attempt and then missed a pair of free throws with 21.6 seconds to play. Miami Trace missed its final shot, sending the game to overtime.

Senior Kristin Reisinger drove the lane for two points with 3:28 left in overtime. Miami Trace missed two field goal attempts and both teams missed the front end of a one-and-bonus at the line.

Uetrecht made one free throw, missed the next, but Massie got the rebound and Uetrecht was sent back to the line. She again made one of two, tying the game, 36-36 with 58.7 seconds remaining.

After running some precious time off the clock, Abby Schwenk banked in a shot. Massie missed their next two attempts and Miami Trace had the ball. Mabra was fouled and went to the line with nine seconds to play. She made both free throws for a 40-36 lead.

Uetrecht then hit a long three-point field goal (halfway between the top of the circle and the halfcourt line). Miami Trace was fouled, but missed both free throws with 2.2 seconds. Massie was not able to get a very good look at the basket and the Lady Panthers held on for the 40-39 win.

“Our entire game plan has been to play to our strengths,” Wilkinson said. “Make people try to adjust to our style. We don’t change from game to game.

“You can’t give good teams the ball on unforced turnovers. You can’t give them extra opportunities and we did that today.

“It’s so dag-gone hard to win the Gold Basketball. That was our goal. You’ve seen teams win the league in the past and somewhere along the line, somebody gets you. It’s a very good league, very competitive. There are a lot of very, very good coaches in our league. They put in a lot of time and effort.”

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