Washington senior Omar Porter drives to the basket between Miami Trace’s sophomore Dylan Bernard (left) and senior Austin Brown during the FAC rivalry game Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018 at Washington High School.
Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald
Miami Trace sophomore Logan Rogers drives on Washington senior Richie Burns during a Frontier Athletic conference rivalry game Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018 at Washington High School.
Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald
The Washington Blue Lions moved into sole possession of first place in the Frontier Athletic Conference following a 65-40 win over the Miami Trace Panthers at Washington High School Saturday, Dec. 22.
The game was played in front of a very large holiday crowd.
Washington is now 4-1 in the FAC, one-half game ahead of Chillicothe (3-1).
Jackson and McClain are now 3-2 in the FAC, Hillsboro is 1-3 and Miami Trace is 0-5.
Washington played in new grey and blue uniforms while Miami Trace wore their home white uniforms.
Senior Dillon Steward was the game’s leading scorer for Washington with 18 points. He had five rebounds and blocked three shots.
Senior Omar Porter scored 12 points and led the Blue Lions with eight rebounds. He also had two steals.
Senior Richie Burns scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds.
Senior Evan Upthegrove and junior Drew Moats both added six points for Washington.
Junior Trevor Baker led the Panthers with 13 points.
Senior Austin Brown scored 11 for the Panthers and had eight rebounds.
Sophomore Dylan Bernard scored seven points and had a game-high nine rebounds.
“What’s so fun about our team is, that, at any moment, one of seven different players can take over the game,” Washington head coach Connor Scott said. “I can’t say enough about Evan Upthegrove. He guards the other team’s point guard from half-court on. Whoever I put Evan on stops scoring. He completely runs our team. He tells people where they need to go, he moves the ball, he’s unselfish, he makes threes — he just does it all.
“Then you have Dillon, who can score at just about any time,” Scott said. “Omar Porter was unbelievable tonight. He can take his guy off the dribble and create for others.
“Richie Burns was a great defender tonight,” Scott said. “He finishes around the rim and can handle the ball. And Blaise (Tayese) is another starter who scored 14 straight points against Chillicothe and guarded Trace’s best player tonight.
“We really don’t drop off too much when we sub,” Scott said. “With Garitt Leisure, Eli Lynch, Miguel O’Flaherty and Drew Moats.”
The teams traded three-point field goals to open the scoring.
A bucket by Logan Rogers gave Miami Trace what turned out to be its only lead of the game at 5-3.
Washington led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter.
The Blue Lions kept a lead in the range of five to nine points in the second quarter before the half ended with the home team up by 10, 29-19.
The lead continued to build for the Blue Lions in the third quarter until Eli Lynch hit a three-point shot to give Washington a 49-27 lead.
Washington led Miami Trace, 49-29 after three quarters of action.
The Blue Lions won the fourth quarter, 16-11 to put the final score at 65-40.
“They are a very athletic team and they are coached to their strengths,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser said. “This is a tough environment and it was an uphill battle for us tonight.
“This is probably as disappointed as I’ve been,” Pittser said. “I’m usually pretty positive after games, win or lose. You get to a place in the season where sophomores need to become juniors and ball-handlers have to take care of the ball. We had 13 turnovers in the first half against a defense that wasn’t really trying to pressure us. That’s something we can’t continue. We’ve got to get that fixed.”
Elsewhere in FAC action Saturday, Chillicothe defeated Jackson, 53-35 and McClain beat Hillsboro, 55-41.
Washington (5-2 overall) is back in action Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 at home against the Whiteoak Wildcats.
Miami Trace (0-7 overall) is hosting the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Thursday, Dec. 27 beginning at 6:30 p.m. with Madison Plains taking on London. The Panthers will play Greeneview Thursday at 8 p.m.
The consolation game is Saturday, Dec. 29 at 6:30 p.m. and the championship game is Saturday at 8 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 14 15 20 16 — 65
MT 9 10 10 11 — 40
WASHINGTON — Dillon Steward 5 (2)-2-18; Omar Porter 5-2-12; Richie Burns 4-1-9; Evan Upthegrove 0 (2)-0-6; Drew Moats 1 (1)-1-6; Garitt Leisure 1 (1)-0-5; Blaise Tayese 2-0-4; Eli Lynch 0 (1)-0-3; Miguel O’Flaherty 1-0-2; Brice Cartwright 0-0-0; Ethan Rogers-Wright 0-0-0; Mitch Lotz 0-0-0; Karson Runk 0-0-0. TOTALS — 19 (7)-6-65. Free throw shooting: 6 of 8 for 75 percent. Three-point field goals: Steward, 2; Upthegrove, 2; Moats, Leisure, Lynch. Field goal shooting: 26 of 58 for 44 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 7 of 22 for 31 percent. Rebounds: 31 (7 offensive). Assists: 13. Steals: 10. Blocks: 6. Turnovers: 8. Personal fouls: 11. Bench points: 16. Second chance points: 2. Points off turnovers: 13.
MIAMI TRACE — Trevor Barker 4 (1)-2-13; Austin Brown 4-3-11; Dylan Bernard 3-1-2; Cody Brightman 1-1-3; Logan Rodgers 1-0-2; Kyler Conn 1-0-2; Ethan Steele 1-0-2; Austin Mathews 0-0-0; Cameron Moore 0-0-0; Braden Osborne 0-0-0. TOTALS — 15 (1)-7-40. Free throw shooting: 7 of 12 for 58 percent. Three-point field goal: Barker. Field goal shooting: 16 of 50 for 32 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 1 of 15 for 6 percent. Rebounds: 32 (10 offensive). Assists: 5. Steals: 5. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 19. Personal fouls: 9. Bench points: 12. Second chance points: 12. Points off turnovers: 4.