Nobody will have the upper hand tonight when Miami entertains Field Kindley High School of Coffeyville, Kan., at the Dogdome - it's the 2007-08 season opener for both schools.
Junior varsity games tip off at 5 p.m. at the Dogdome and at MHS.
The varsity girls' game starts at 6:30 p.m. with the boys' game tipping off at about 8 p.m.
Both of the Wardogs' returning starters are in the backcourt - guards Michael Anderson and Trent Turner.
“We'll find out a lot about ourselves early on,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “We'll see where we are at. There's nothing like the bright lights to show you what you have - and what you don't have.”
Both teams return only two starters - one a blue-chip guard - and a part-timer.
Point guard Mitch Rolls (6-3) is a player to watch for the Golden Tornado, who finished 13-10 last year (losing to Girard in the Kansas substate final).
Rolls, who averaged 12 points per game last season, has drawn the attention of several NCAA Division I schools, according to Kevin Crier, sports editor of the Coffeyville Journal.
“He's probably something they haven't had in the past, where is the guy that really runs the team and keeps them under control,” Mercer said. “He pretty much does it all.”
Coffeyville's only other returning starter is Chris Caresio and Caleb Scourten was a part-timer.
“They haven't changed a while lot over the years,” Mercer said. “They don't return a lot from last year but they always seem to come up with the athletes.”
Miami - 15-7 a year ago - is building around four-year starter Michael Anderson and returning point guard Trent Turner. Jake Roberts, who started four games but saw action in all 22, joins them.
Anderson averaged 14.6-point per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field, hitting 110 of 263 shots.
He had 37 steals and 80 assists while averaging 2.4 rebounds per game.
Turner averaged 3.6 points, 1.3 steals, 3.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game
Roberts averaged 4.7 points and 1.9 rebounds while logging 10 steals and 18 assists.
Rounding out Miami's starting lineup will be James Pickens at guard and Michael Chesnut at the other forward spot.
The Miami girls have three starters back - guards Emily Cline (5-6), Faith Wilkins (5-6) and Alyssa Johnson (5-6) - from a team that went 2-20 last season.
The Field Kindley girls finished 10-10 - their first non-losing season “in many, many years,” according to Crier.
The Lady' Nado's best player, Megan Bailey, may be out at least until Christmas because of shin splints, Crier said.
Miami begins play in the Sperry tournament starting Tuesday.
The boys battle Bristow at 5:30 p.m. with the girls facing Sperry at 7 p.m.