JAMESTOWN — By the time Greeneview had figured out how to counter-attack against a feisty Miami Trace defense, the first quarter was over and the Rams had scored just three points. But patience, and a good dose of Panthers in foul trouble, enabled the host Rams to rally for a 44-31 semifinal win, in the opening night of the McDonald’s of Fayette County and Jamestown Holiday Basketball Tournament, Dec. 26, at Greeneview High.
Miami Trace (5-2) went after Greeneview’s players with a full-court man-to-man, pressuring defense for much of the first half. The constant pressure led to 16 Rams turnovers in the opening quarter of play, and scores by Shay McDonald (six points), Cassidy Lovett and Magarah Bloom (two points each) earned the Panthers a 10-3 lead after the first minutes of play. But Miami Trace had collected five fouls by then, and that problem softened up their defense the rest of the way.
Greeneview (8-1) went on an 8-1 scoring run to start the second quarter and tied the game at 11-all barely three minutes later. Hannah Ferrell’s 3-pointer from the left corner tied the contest, then Sylvie Sonneman’s inside score a dozen seconds later gave the Rams their first lead of the contest, 13-11. A Sonneman drive for a score, and a Faith Rutherford free throw conversion put the Rams out front to stay, as the first half with Greeneview in front, 20-17.
After being held scoreless in that first quarter, Sonneman finished with a game-high 17 points. Nine of that total came during the Rams’ second-quarter rally. Ferrell and Ashley Schloss both finished with six points apiece and Kenzie Harding had five fourth-quarter points in the win.
Lovett led Miami Trace with 11 points; McDonald was next with 10. Lovett finished with three fouls, and was one of four Panther players with three fouls or more in the second half. McDonald fouled out with 2:50 left to play in the game.
“You have to earn everything you get when you play Trace,” Greeneview coach Tim Hoelle said. “It’s always gonna be a dogfight with them. We knew coming in that they were going to try to pressure and trap. We really struggled with it in the first half. I thought our kids adjusted and played much better against it in the second half. We hadn’t seen much of that so far this year. It’s a little bit different, and it’s hard to simulate in practice. We just tried to do the best we could with it.”
Trace coach Ben Ackley said the foul trouble created problems for his Washington Court House bunch.
“Early in the first quarter, things were exactly how we wanted it,” Ackley said, “But we missed easy shots, didn’t execute as a top level, and then we had a ton of foul trouble there in the second quarter that we had to deal with. I just felt like our kids never got in a good rhythm after that.”
In Wednesday’s first game, London defeated Madison-Plains, 64-23. Elli Trimble led the Raiders with 16 points, Malorie Colwell finished with 15 and Rachael Alexander scored 11 to enable the Raiders to advance to Friday’s championship game against the host Rams.
“We got to see some of the first half of the London – Madison-Plains game. We’re excited to play London. We had them in the first round last year, and it was a great game. We’re hoping for another big game with them this year,” Hoelle said.
Miami Trace will be the home team against Madison-Plains in Friday’s 6:30 p.m. Dec. 28 consolation game at Greeneview High. Greeneview will then host London in the title game that same night starting at 8 p.m.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.