CLARKSVILLE – Miami Trace’s defense put the clamps on Clinton-Massie and the Pettiford duo provided enough offense in a 52-42 road victory for the Panthers on Friday night in South Central Ohio League boys basketball action.
Tyrae Pettiford scored 12 of his 15 points after halftime and Deandre Pettiford added 11 as Trace jumped out to an early 7-1 lead and never looked back.
Clinton-Massie struggled to score all night, connecting on only 6 first half field goals as Trace grabbed a 26-15 halftime advantage. The Panthers defense harassed CM from the onset, forcing 16 turnovers, while MT committed a mere 5.
“I give a lot of credit to their defense. They forced us into a lot of bad shots and some decisions we really haven’t made all year,” Clinton-Massie head coach Dustin Eads said. “We got rushed and we weren’t finishing around the rim.”
The defensive pressure from Trace was a key in the game as the visitors forced Massie to work for every bucket. A 5-point MT lead after one quarter ballooned to 26-15 at the break as Clinton-Massie managed just a Noah Greathouse 3-pointer and single free throw in the entire quarter.
The Panthers extended the lead to 14 points after three quarters and led by as many as 19 (49-30), before cruising to the victory.
For the game, Clinton-Massie shot 35 percent in the contest (17-of-48), while Miami Trace also hit on 35 percent (19-of-55). The Panthers stingy defense helped provide the edge, snatching 10 steals, compared to 3 for Massie.
“We just tried to keep fighting hard. We know we have to fight for everything we get,” Eads said. “We can’t let bad decisions get us down.”
The lone Falcon to get things going on the offensive end was sophomore Trey Uetrecht. CM’s leading scorer posted a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Uetrecht scored 14 of those points coming after halftime.
“Trey really fought hard on the offensive glass and was able to get a couple easy put backs for himself,” Eads said.
Freshman Thomas Myers came off the bench to add 7 points and 6 rebounds for Clinton-Massie, while Bailey LeForge, Daulton Wolfe and Greathouse all scored four points apiece.
For Miami Trace, Tyrae Pettiford led the way with 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Deandre Pettiford had an excellent floor game with 11 points, 7 boards and 5 steals.
Clinton-Massie gets back to action on Tuesday night with a home contest against Hillsboro.
Blake covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @BeeLakeH.