MIAMI — For everything that went right for Miami’s girls in the first half of Tuesday night’s game with Verdigris, it went bad in the second half.
As a result, the 3A No. 16 Lady Cardinals made off with a 73-21 Verdigris Valley Conference basketball victory.
“We prepared well. We had a hard practice Monday,” Miami coach Chuck Preaus said. “I wanted to push them to prove that we can play with a good team. They came out psyched up and were fired up at halftime.”
It resulted in the Lady Wardogs holding a brief lead and trailing by only five late in the half.
But Verdigris scored the final four points of the second quarter and went on a 29-0 tear in the third to break the game open.
“Third quarter, we were psyched out,” Preaus said. “We got four fouls early. Verdigris picked up its intensity and we scored zero in the third quarter.
“That’s going to be hard for anyone to rebound from.”
Miami then managed only four points over the final eight minutes.
It was a bit of a moral victory for the Lady Wardogs who managed only nine points when the teams met at Verdigris in January.
They had nine in the first 4:05 of Tuesday’s game.
But conversely, the visitors would up scoring 12 points more than they had the first time around.
“We’re definitely better, but sometimes we trip and it’s hard to get back up,” Preaus said.
After their 33-0 explosion, the Lady Cardinal outscored Miami 19-4 in the fourth quarter.
Verdigris got points from 12 of the 13 players who saw action and only two hit double figure as Callie Battlefield had 16 points and Kylie Darden with 12.
All of the Lady Wardogs’ points came from four sources. Tori Lofgren had a team-high nine points, Shelby Hubbard and Tara Linton had five each and Kaki Barlow chipped in with two.
“I am excited with what our potential is … what it can be,” Preaus said. “If we can string that kind of intensity and energy together over the next four or five games, what would that say.”
Tuesday’s game started a three-game-in-four-day grind for the Lady Wardogs.
“We’ve got a mountain to climb this week,” Preaus said. “We’ve got Oologah Thursday and then we’ve got (4A No. 5) Vinita on Friday. We can’t run away. We have to stare the giant face-to-face, eye-to-eye, and go fight.”