The Bryan girls basketball team held a 40-39 lead with five minutes to go, but the Golden Bears couldn’t hang on and faltered down the stretch to lose 45-42 at home against Wayne Trace on Tuesday.

Bryan senior Kelly Miller had a potential game-tying 3-pointer rim out at the buzzer, which allowed Wayne Trace to escape with the victory.

The game was played relatively even throughout, with neither team able to build much of a lead. Wayne Trace (2-0) took a 22-18 lead into the half, and the third period was played in a very back-and-forth manner.

Wayne Trace went up 26-21 early in the third quarter, but a stretch of five quick points from Bryan’s Kloee Antigo tied the game at 26, and then a Brooke Lamberson 3-pointer gave the Bears a 29-26 advantage and capped a quick 8-0 spurt.

Wayne Trace countered, however, and eventually took a 37-36 lead into the fourth quarter.

Bryan (2-1) went back on top when Delilah Taylor hit a jumper to give the Bears a 40-39 lead with about five minutes to play, but Wayne Trace responded with a 4-for-6 stretch from the free-throw line on its next three possessions to take a 43-40 advantage with 3:01 to go.

An Allie Zimmerman jumper closed Wayne Trace’s lead to 43-42 at the 1:51 mark, but it was all the offense Bryan could muster for the rest of the game.

Wayne Trace went on to hit a few more free throws down the stretch, and the Raiders’ swarming defense continued to keep Bryan off the board.

Bryan’s offense struggled for stretches of Tuesday’s game, and that’s something Bryan coach Todd Grosjean says the Bears are doing their best to work on.

“It’s no secret we’ve tried to go through Shallyn (Miley) a little bit, and she struggled a little bit tonight,” Grosjean said. “We couldn’t get jump shots to go, and we didn’t get a lot of second-chance opportunities. ... I’m happy with the way we played. I’m obviously not happy with the outcome, and I don’t think the kids are either, but (Wayne Trace) is a good basketball team. They’re going to win a lot of games.

“I think we have a very good basketball team. I think we go a lot deeper than we did last year. We spread the wealth a little bit offensively, but we’ve just got to find the right combination.”

Claire Sinn, the career 1,000-point scorer and reigning Green Meadows Conference Player of the Year, led the Raiders with 17 points on the night, while Miriam Sinn added 10.

An eight-point effort from Taylor led the Bears, while Antigo and McKendry Semer both had seven points.

“We were right there,” Grosjean said. “We had a lead late, but unfortunately we couldn’t get it done. Credit to Wayne Trace. That’s a savvy group. Obviously, (Claire Sinn) is very good, and we had trouble guarding her straight-line drives, and they made shots when you lost track of them.

“We’re getting better. I think we took a step forward with how to come out of the locker room and how to approach a game, but obviously there’s still work to be done.”

Bryan returns to action when it hosts Maumee on Saturday.

Wayne Trace 45, Bryan 42

Wayne Trace 11 11 15 8 — 45

Bryan 7 11 18 6 — 42

Wayne Trace: C. Sinn 6 1 2-5 17, M. Sinn 1 1 5-6 10, R. Stoller 4 0 1-2 9, K. Stoller 0 1 3-4 6, Graham 1 0 1-1 3. Totals: 12 3 12-18 45.

Bryan: Taylor 3 0 2-3 8, Semer 2 0 3-7 7, Antigo 3 0 1-3 7, Miley 2 0 2-4 6, Miller 1 1 1-2 6, Zimmerman 2 0 1-1 5, Lamberson 0 1 0-0 3. Totals: 13 2 10-19 42.

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