MIAMI — A decision to change defenses down the stretch loomed large in Miami’s 63-59 overtime win over the Green Country Defenders Thursday, Jan. 18, at the MAC.
“My first instinct was to go 13 (a 1-3-1 trapping defense) there and try to trap and maybe be a little over-aggressive, maybe get a turnover to win it,” Mercer said following the Dogs’ Boys Gold win in the Northeastern A&M High School Basketball Tournament.
“But you can be a little over-aggressive, foul and put them on the line,” he said. “We had talked about these guys, that we really had to get out and cover with our man defense. But I thought what better time to get in a man, get in the stance and guard. It worked out.”
Kai Hamilton sent the game into overtime with a driving layup with 25.5 seconds left.
The Defenders Justin Taylor missed a long 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Miami held an 11-7 advantage in the extra four-point period to nail down its seventh win of the season.
It set up a 7:30 p.m. semifinal clash at the NEO Field House with old Six Lakes and Metro Lakes nemesis Claremore.
The 5A No. 9 Zebras (9-4) advanced with a 62-53 win over Roland in another Boys Gold first-round game.
Miami’s girls suffered a 69-25 loss to Roland in their tournament opener Thursday.
There were 11 lead changes and six ties in a game against Tulsa-based
Green Country that saw the Wardogs squander an eight-point lead in the second quarter.
“I thought in the first half we had a chance to really take control of it with an eight-point lead,” Mercer said. “But there were a series of things on both end of the floor (that kept Green Country in the game).”
The game was tied 27-27 at the half and Miami carried a 41-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We never really could put them away,” Mercer said. “I was proud of our guys for fighting both in regulation and overtime, making plays.”
Hamilton scored a game-high 20 points, getting 13 in the second half and six in overtime.
Kaleb Jinks drilled four treys while scoring 17.
Others with points for the Dogs were Eli Lewis, nine; Eli Chenoweth, eight; Drew Williams, five, and Conner Womack four
Miami shot 51 percent from the field, hitting 18 of 34 field goals.
The Wardogs had 15 assists (Hamilton, Grant Nolte and Jinks three each) on 23 attempts from inside the arc.
Marshall LeBar and Gavin Stiles scored 17 and 13 for the Defenders.
Girls: Roland 69. Miami 25
The Lady Wardogs jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first 5:34 of the game only to have Roland’s offense kick in.
The Lady Rangers outscored Miami 9-2 the rest of the way to tie the game at 11, and then erupted for 24 points in the second quarter to go up 35-18 at the half.
The Lady Wardogs managed only seven points in the second half, including one in the fourth quarter.
Shelby Hubbard was the leading scorer for Miami (0-12) with 11 points.
Mary Gilbert contributed six, Malarie Thompson and Abby Osborn scored three each and Ramsee Allemann finished with two.
The 4A No. 18 Lady Rangers (12-3) had two players in double figures: Kaitlyn Martinez with 19 and Saylor Kemp added 14.
Roland buried 10 3-point goals in the game.
Martinez had five, Kayleigh Harrell three and Makaylah Chandler and Madison Conley each added one.