MIAMI — Once again, it wasn’t easy, but Miami held off Afton down the stretch to claim a 60-47 victory in a first-round Boys Gold game at the 72nd annual Northeastern A&M High School Basketball Tournament presented by American Bus Sales.
“I was disappointed that we missed a lot of shots around the basket, around the rim that could have stretched it out,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “We had too many unnecessary turnovers (18 total); not handling the ball against pressure. That is a little bothersome, but we will take it.”
The win was just the third of the season for Miami, which had squandered leads in several games.
Miami led by 11 at the half and was up by as many as 18 points in the third quarter only to have the Eagles gash the deficit to seven (47-40) on a layup by Wil Amos with 6:02 remaining.
But the Wardogs sandwiched buckets by Eli Coyne and Conner Womack around a Jack Osborn trey that pushed the lead back into double figures.
The closest Afton (4-5) would get down the stretch was 11.
“That happened in the Seneca game as well,” Mercer said. “They got close and we had to go make plays. We had to go get stops.
“Its good news, bad news. We got easy buckets to stretch it out, then we got defensive stops when we needed it.”
Miami had three players score in double figures. Kameron Jinks led the way with 19 followed by Eli Coyne and Jack Osborn with 12 each.
Conner Womack scored seven and Kai Hamilton and Kaleb Jinks chipped in with five each.
The Wardogs shot 47 percent from the field, hitting 21 of 41 from inside the arc.
“Miami is a very sound, fundamental basketball team,” Afton coach Jimmy Hudson said. “We were a lot more athletic than they were, but being athletic doesn’t win you ballgames all the time.
I thought my boys played hard. We just missed way too many chip shots.”
The Eagles were 19 of 57 from the field, including 4 of 14 from 3-point range.
Amos gave the Wardogs fits again, scoring a game-high 21 points.
While this was the first meeting between MHS and Afton since 1982, Amos had 24 — including 11 in a key fourth quarter and overtime — as the Ridgerunners carted off a 62-45 victory in 2015.
“He is just a bad match-up for people,” Hudson said. “He is a special kid.”
Gabe Mustain and Gunner Hudson added 11 and 10, respectively, for the Eagles. Brett Fuser scored two.
Miami faces Roland at 7:30 p.m. in the NEO Field House in a Boys Gold semifinal game.
The Eagles and Oklahoma City Green Country square off at 1:30 p.m. in a consolation game, also at the NEO Field House.