WAGONER — For the first time all season, an opponent’s size gave the Miami boys problems.
“Their size with 35 (6-4 sophomore Chris Coulter) and 4 (6-2 senior Patrick Curley) really bothered us,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said after the Wardogs’ 52-41 loss here Friday, Jan. 9.
“That was the first time all year that I really felt like size was a factor for us,” he said.
The Bulldogs held a 29-15 edge on the boards, including a 14-4 advantage in offensive rebounds.
“They are very athletic and their size was more of a factor because we couldn’t bother and pressure them enough out front,” Mercer said. “That is one way you combat their size, but we weren’t able to do it enough.”
Miami led 12-8 after the first quarter, but the Bulldogs scored the final seven in the first half to open up a 19-17 advantage.
Wagoner carried a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter then outscored the Dogs 15-13 in the fourth.
“We spent a lot of the first half not attacking inside their zone enough,” Mercer said. “We did a lot better in the second half, but struggled more in the defensive end.”
Coulter finished with 11 points while Curley and Jacob Nevitt had 10 each for Wagoner.
Kai Hamilton’s 10 points topped the scoring for the Wardogs.
Eli Lewis contributed nine, followed by Drew Williams with six, Conner Womack and Brant Morris with five each and Grant Nolte and Kaleb Jinks with three each.
Girls: Wagoner 54, Miami 32
The Lady Wardogs were unable to overcome a 9-0 deficit in the first 3:30 of the game and remained winless (0-11).
Wagoner was up 14-8 after the first quarter then coasted into the half with a 34-18 advantage.
The Lady Wardogs outscored the hosts 16-10 in the third but Wagoner held a 10-8 edge over the final eight minutes to get its fifth win of the season.
Shelby Hubbard and Bayleigh Beckwith led the way offensively for the Lady Wardogs with eight points each.
Malarie Thompson added six, followed by Claire Coyne with four.
Maddie Arnold, Mary Gilbert and Rebecca Bell added two each.
“We played pretty hard, but missed some shots we shouldn’t have,” Miami coach Chuck Preaus said. “Our transition defense needs work. I was very proud of their efforts.”
Dai Dai Penney scored 17 for Wagoner.
Miami is idle until Thursday, Jan. 18, when it begins play in the Northeastern A&M High School Basketball Tournament.
The Lady Wardogs face 4A No. 16 Roland at 6 p.m. while the MHS boys tackle the Green Country Defenders. Both games will be in the Miami Activity Center.