Macie Taylor breaks Troy career scoring record; hits game-winning free throws in 52-50 victory over Butler

VANDALIA — Troy girls basketball coach Jeremy Hughes called it “storybook”.

Senior guard Macie Taylor said it was like a dream come true.

What it was, was vintage “Macie”.

Not only did Taylor break the school record for career points in the second quarter of a 52-50 win over Vandalia-Butler Wednesday night at the SAC, she hit both ends of a one-and-one with 2.6 seconds to go to give Troy the win.

Julia Reel-Niles had previously held the record with 1,127 points more than 30 years ago — Taylor’s total now stands at 1,141 points.

But, what makes Taylor truly special is her first comments after the game were about her teammates — who also played key roles in the win.

“I am so proud of my teammates,” she said. “They all had good games. Makenzee (Maschino) and Madalynn (Hughes), Morgan (Kaiser), Brynn (Siler), Amyannah (Tucker) — all the starters played great and so did everyone off the bench.”

It didn’t take long for Taylor, who needed eight points to break the record to get there.

She did it on two free throws with 5:48 remaining in the first half.

“I was expecting them to stop the game after the first free throw,” Taylor said. “That one was the record, but then they didn’t. Then they stopped the game after my second free throw. It was kind of like when I scored my 1,000th point last year. Everybody was coming up and congratulating me.”

Reel-Niles was there to present her with the game ball.

“Definitely, it meant a lot for her to be there,” Taylor said. “I know she has been coming to the games. She is one of our junior high coaches and she has always supported me and the program.”

With Taylor scoring 16 points in the opening half, Troy had a 28-17 lead with 1:22 remaining in the first half.

But, sparked by Sami Bardonaro, Butler went on a 22-5 run from there to take a 39-33 lead and led 42-36 going to the final eight minutes.

She hit two threes early in the third quarter, was 11 for 12 from the line at one point and finished 15 of 20 from there.

“That’s a recipe for disaster,” Hughes said about sending Bardonaro to the line. “We were being aggressive trying to steal the ball, but we were reaching. And that is the strength of her game. She is aggressive at drawing fouls.”

At the same time, Butler put 5-10 Natalie Schoenherr to try and slow Taylor down.

Which is when Taylor — who missed the first five games of the season with illness — had her absence pay dividends.

Madalynn Hughes hit a 3-pointer late in the third, then Hughes and Makenzee Maschino hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter to get Troy within 43-42.

Taylor scored on a putback and Tucker stole the ball and dished to Hughes to give Troy a 46-43 lead with 3:26 remaining.

“This is the team I saw all summer and preseason (before Macie’s absence),” Hughes said. “That’s the thing they learned when Macie was out. To step up and hit shots like that.”

Tucker would hit two free throws to give Troy a 48-45 lead, but Butler would tie it on a Bardonaro basket with 1:30 to go at 48-48.

In the final minute , Maschino would score off an assist from Taylor to make it 50-48.

“That was kind of a broken play and Makenzee (Maschino) did a great job finishing on it,” Hughes said.

Bardonaro would then tie it.

After Troy inbounded the ball, Butler committed its sixth foul.

Troy inbounded with 9.5 seconds to go and all eyes were on Taylor.

As she crossed midcourt, she had two girls from Butler on here.

“I have made buzzer beaters before,” Taylor said. “But, I have never had a situation like that where the ball was in my hands.”

As she made a spin move beyond the top of the key, Butler fouled her with 2.6 seconds left.

“I was surprised,” she said. “I didn’t think they would foul me in that situation.”

She calmly sank both free throws and Butler’s desperation shot following a timeout was off the mark.

“It felt good (to be back at full strength),” Taylor said. “I think the free throws was a big thing (she missed six in a row last Saturday against Fairborn, something that never happens). I think I only missed one tonight.”

Taylor had 21 points and four assists to lead Troy.

Maschino and Hughes combined for 17 in the second half, with Hughes scoring 10 and Maschino adding nine points and four steals. And Siler had seven points in the first half and blocked two shots.

Kiyah Baker also blocked two shots.

“We had a lot of players step up tonight,” Hughes said. “With Macie (still coming back), Amyannah (Tucker) gives us the ability to give Macie a breather at different times.”

Bardonaro finished with 28 points for Butler and Evan Neely added 11 points and five rebounds.

Emily Ledbetter had six rebounds, Olivia Follick pulled down five rebounds and Natalie Harris had four assists.

Troy was 18 of 39 from the floor for 46 percent and 11 of 13 from the line for 85 percent.

Butler was 14 of 36 from the floor for 39 percent and 19 of 27 from the line for 70 percent.

Butler won the battle of the boards 27-16, but had 21 turnovers to Troy’s 14.

Looking back, Taylor couldn’t have written a better script.

Troy improved 4-1 in the MVL and 4-4 overall, taking over the lead in the Miami Division. They will face Valley Division leader Sidney on Saturday.

“I am glad it (the record) happen tonight and we were able to beat the team that knocked us out of the tournament last year,” she said. “It is amazing (to break a record that had stood for 30 years). I want to see someone break my record some day, but I want to build on that point total the rest of the year and make it as hard as possible.”

And, hopefully create some more “Macie” moments along the way.