DEFIANCE – Sophomore Gracie Shepherd scored 23 points and recorded a double-double by totaling 11 rebounds to lead the Wayne Trace Lady Raiders to a 55-45 win over Tinora in Green Meadows Conference girls basketball action Thursday night.

It was a night that saw the red, white and blue lead from start to finish, despite battling foul trouble for most of the final three quarters.

While four starters finished with four fouls for Wayne Trace, Shepherd was not called for a foul and was dominant on both ends of the floor for the Lady Raiders.

“She played really well tonight,” commented Wayne Trace head coach Bethany DeJarnett. “Gracie went to the boards and grabbed rebounds tonight and she was aggressive all night long. Defensively, she did a good job of holding her ground and she was able to alter some shots but stay in position as well.”

The Lady Raiders scored the first ten points of the game, with Katrina Stoller getting six while Rachel Stoller and Shepherd added two each, to take control and Wayne Trace never gave that control up.

Following a basket by Tinora’s Addison Lee, Shepherd added two more buckets to end the first quarter scoring with Wayne Trace on top 14-2.

“We were able to get off to a good start and that was a key for us,” noted DeJarnett. “We knew Tinora was going to pressure us and they play a lot of girls so we felt a good start was big for us.”

A three-pointer and a basket by Tristen Norden along with a bucket from Karli Okuley helped the green and white cut the deficit to 14-9 before Wayne Trace answered, getting baskets by Katrina Stoller and Sinn for an 18-9 advantage.

Tinora trimmed the deficit to as little as 30-21, getting a pair of charity tosses from Anna Gray foul shots to close within nine at the intermission.

After Wayne Trace expanded the margin back to 40-26 midway through the third quarter on a Shepherd basket, the Rams responded.

The green and white closed the third quarter on a 9-4 run, capped by a pair of Emily Harr foul shots, to trim the deficit to 44-35 entering the final stanza.

A trey and basket from Tinora’s Liv Mueller opened the fourth quarter scoring before a Karli Okuley three-pointer got the Rams within 45-43.

Following a Raider turnover, the Lady Rams had a chance to grab their first lead of the night but a Mueller trey attempt was off the mark Wayne Trace would put the game away from there.

The red, white and blue answered with two Katrina Stoller foul shots before a basket from Rachel Stoller extended the margin to 49-43.

A pair of Harr free throws pulled Tinora back within 49-45 but the Rams would not score again.

Wayne Trace, though, put the game away with a pair of Christina Graham foul shots, single free throws from Shepherd and Rachel Stoller and a Sydnee Sinn bucket to wrap up the 55-45 victory.

“We had to play through some adversity and I thought the girls did a good job of battling through it,” continued DeJarnett.

Katrina Stoller added ten markers while posting five rebounds, three assists and three steals with Rachel Stoller adding nine markers, five rebounds and two steals. Sydnee Sinn also posted eight points and dished out three assists. Christina Graham grabbed a team high dozen rebounds for Wayne Trace, which outrebounded the Rams 39-32 overall.

Graham and Abby Moore both scored two points for the Lady Raiders, who improve to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in the Green Meadows Conference. Rylee Troth picked up the remaining red, white and blue marker.

Tinora was led by Tristen Norden with 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Liv Mueller chipped in ten markers. Emily Harr and Karli Okuley posted nine and eight points, respectively, for Tinora, which falls to 5-7 overall and 0-2 in the league.

Tinora captured the junior varsity contest with a 39-22 win over the Raiders.

Abby Moore and Ava Zartman each had six points for the red, white and blue with Christina Graham adding five markers and five rebounds. Abbie Stoller (two), Brenna Parker (two) and Rylee Troth (one) had the remaining Wayne Trace points.

The Lady Raiders resume action on Monday with a non-league battle at Lima Central Catholic.