OLD WASHINGTON – Despite a determined effort by the visiting Barnesville Lady Shamrocks, homestanding Buckeye Trail was able to notch a 52-46 victory on Saturday thanks to a record-breaking performance by 5-3 senior point guard Traci Alt.
After Buckeye Trail (13-3) watched Barnesville (9-7) tie the game up at 41-41 following a pair of free throws by senior center Leah Bettinger at the 4:44 juncture, the Buckeye Trail High School all-time assist record was about to fall.
Alt found senior guard Casey Frame racing up the left side of the court for an assisted lay-up, which broke the previous record (269) set in the early 1990s by Dani Allen.
The Lady Shamrocks kept their poise after action was halted so Alt could be recognized. Senior guard Erica Welch drained a field goal with 3:31 remaining in the contest to even things up at 43-all.
However, Alt served up another assist to Frame, this time from behind the three-point line, giving the Lady Warriors a 46-43 cushion with 3:01 left to play. BHS senior forward Allie Doan then split a pair of charity tosses to cut the lead to two. However, Barnesville got a great look on its next trip down the floor as a trifecta rattled in and out.
From that point on, Trail used the free throw line to put the game away. Alt hit a pair, senior forward Hannah Nelson followed with two of her own and sophomore forward Courtney Frame hit 1-of-2 with only 0:37.3 remaining in the fourth quarter, which gave the hosts a 51-44 advantage.
Lady Shamrock senior guard Megan Kemp swished a pair of free throws with under 10 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 51-46. A charity toss by Alt then cemented the final.
Buckeye Trail head coach Brad Lineback praised his senior guard for breaking the assist record (she now has 271) and her play the past three seasons.
“She’s been a three-year starter for me and has done a lot of wonderful things for us,” he commented. “She’s pretty much a 32-minute player. She’s a wonderful kid to coach and I’m very proud of her. It’s nice for her to break the record her senior year. She has established herself as one of the best guards at Buckeye Trail and that’s saying a lot when you look at all of the great guards that have played here. Today’s feat is great for Traci and the program.
“People that aren’t familiar with our program…people talk about that little No. 3. People enjoy watching her play. She’s the little engine that makes us go,” Lineback finished.
The Lady Warriors jumped out to an 8-2 lead at the outset of the game. The Lady Shamrocks then used a 7-0 run to grab a 9-8 lead. Senior guard Chelsey Keylor hit a triple, Kemp hit a deuce and Doan scored inside to give the visitors the edge.
Trail then responded with a 7-2 spurt to end the opening frame. Courtney Frame hit an inside bucket before Doan tallied Barnesville’s last points of the stanza. Nelson then buried a two-point field goal and splashed a trey with 33 ticks left in the period to give BT a 15-11 edge after one round of action.
Lineback’s troops then built their biggest lead (25-11) by using a 10-0 run to start the second quarter. Freshman post player Alexa Abrams started the spurt with an inside hoop. Junior guard Chelsea Doutt then drained two free throws before Nelson and Casey Frame canned trifectas for the 14-point spread.
Moments later, Barnesville mentor Jamie Carpenter used a timeout to try to calm his girls down. The stoppage in play worked. The Lady ’Rocks ripped off nine unanswered points to whittle the margin to 25-20. Keylor had a three and two free throws, and Welch and sophomore guard Mariah Miller tallied field goals during the spurt.
Nelson finished the second frame with a pair of free tosses to give the Lady Warriors a 27-20 halftime edge.
Carpenter complimented his team for not raising the white flag in the first half.
“They didn’t give up today,” Carpenter noted. “During a timeout (the 5:14 mark in the second), we talked about either playing hard or we could just fold. We showed what we are made of after that timeout. We didn’t fold our tents.
“We would have liked to get the win, but we played very hard today. I think we’re peaking at the right time. Hopefully, we’ll be ready for the tournament,” he added.
Buckeye Trail sophomore Kaitlin Wolfe opened the second half with a bucket, but Barnesville then spurted off six quick points – two field goals sandwiched around a pair of free throws, courtesy of Doan – to get within three at 29-26 with 5:15 showing on the clock.
Trail answered with six consecutive points of its own – another basket by Wolfe, a lay-up by Alt and a field goal by Casey Frame – to stretch the lead back to nine at 35-26. Barnesville then outscored Trail, 6-4, down the stretch to head into the final stanza trailing 39-32.
The Lady Shamrocks made things very interesting by opening the fourth with the first seven points. Doan tallied back-to-back buckets before Welch split a pair of charity tosses and connected on a floor shot to knot the score at 39-39 with 6:04 left in the contest.
Lineback said Barnesville did make things a little nerve wracking in the fourth quarter.
“Casey’s three and Traci’s free throws were huge plays,” Lineback related. “That gave us a little breathing room. I do think Barnesville is a good team. Jamie’s done a nice job with those girls this year. They’re guard oriented and we struggle with that a little bit. They are a tough match up for us. I thought both teams played hard today.
“We got a nice lift from Kaitlin, Courtney, Julie (Bates) and Alexa. Those younger kids have all been stepping up for us. It’s just another day where we got big contributions for our younger kids. We’re finally healthy at the right time of the year and the younger kids playing well makes us even better,” Lineback concluded.
Carpenter felt like a victory was ripe for the taking on Saturday afternoon.
“I thought Trail looked a little bit tired today,” Carpenter pointed out. “We thought we could exploit that factor and Allie really picked us up with her energy. She got fired up in the second quarter timeout and that was contagious for our team. Allie led us with 21 points and 10 boards. She does that night in and night out. She gave us another good all-around effort today.”
Buckeye Trail shot 18-of-48 from the floor, including 5-of-19 from three-point land, and 11-of-17 at the free throw line. The Lady Warriors had 29 rebounds, 13 assists, 10 steals, three blocks and just eight turnovers.
Nelson paced BT 17 points and eight rebounds. Casey Frame added 15 points, three rebounds and three assists; Alt tallied nine points, 10 assists and four steals; Wolfe had four points, five rebounds and two steals; Courtney Frame finished with three points and four caroms; and Abrams and Doutt each contributed two points.
The Lady Shamrocks finished 15-of-40 from the field, including 2-of-15 from beyond the arc, and 14-of-16 at the charity stripe. Barnesville tallied 30 caroms, five assists, four blocks and three steals. BHS suffered 13 miscues.
Doan led all scorers with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Keylor finished with eight points and three boards; Welch tallied seven points and three rebounds; Bettinger posted four points, eight boards and three blocks; Kemp totaled four points and two assists; and Miller added two points.
In the freshman game, Buckeye Trail recorded a 26-9 victory over the visiting Lady ’Rocks of Barnesville.
The Lady Warriors (1-0) were led by Candice Bumgardner and Jocelyn George, who tallied seven points apiece. Cori Poland added six points; Nicole Montgomery finished with four points; and Karlie Warnock posted two points.
Barnesville (0-1) was paced by Heidi Hines’ four markers. Jennifer Clouse chipped in three points and Melanie Baker finished with a pair of points.
BUCKEYE TRAIL 52, BARNESVILLE 46
Megan Kemp 1-7 2-2 4, Kelsey Bahmer 0-2 0-0 0, Chelsey Keylor 2-11 2-2 8, Erica Welch 3-7 1-2 7, Allie Doan 8-13 5-6 21, Alora Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Mariah Miller 1-1 0-0 2, Leah Bettinger 0-0 4-4 4. Totals 15-40 14-16 46.
Buckeye Trail (13-3)
Traci Alt 3-9 3-7 9, Chelsea Doutt 0-1 2-2 2, Casey Frame 6-12 0-0 15, Kaitlin Wolfe 2-2 0-0 4, Hannah Nelson 5-18 5-6 17, Courtney Frame 1-2 1-2 3, Julie Bates 0-2 0-0 0, Alexa Abrams 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 18-48 11-17 52.
Barnesville 11 9 12 14 – 46
Buckeye Trail 15 12 12 13 – 52
Three-point goals–BHS 2-15 (Keylor 2); BTHS 5-19 (Casey Frame 3, Nelson 2). Rebounds–BHS 30 (Doan 10, Bettinger 8); BTHS 29 (Nelson 8, Wolfe 5, Courtney Frame 4). Assists–BHS 5 (Kemp 2); BTHS 13 (Alt 10). Steals–BHS 3; BTHS 10 (Alt 4, Casey Frame 3, Wolfe 2). Blocked Shots–BHS 4 (Bettinger 3, Doan); BTHS 3 (Casey Frame 2, Nelson). Fouls–BHS 18; BTHS 13. Fouled Out–none. Turnovers–BHS 13; BTHS 8.
Officials–Kerry Langsdorf, Larry Skezyoul, Erica Narrish.