NEOSHO, Mo. — Miami’s girls had one foot in the grave, but refused to allow themselves to be buried.
The Lady Wardogs trailed Neosho, Mo., by 21 points at the half, but battled back to within 13 before succumbing 63-48 here Tuesday night.
“We had played real well in the JV game (winning 54-51) but came out and had like seven turnovers in the first minute and a half of the varsity game,” Miami coach JohnCarl Morgan said. “Towards the end of the first quarter, we started playing better and in the second quarter played still a little better. We came out at halftime and played really well in the third and fourth quarters, I thought.”
Missouri has a mercy rule that provides for a running clock once a team goes up by 30 points in the second half.
Neosho had finished out the second quarter with a 7-0 run to open up a 37-16 bulge at the break.
The Lady Wildcats then came out in the third quarter and bumped it to 42-18 in the first minute.
But a free throw by Kylee Carder and a 3-point goal by Nikki Mullin jump-started Miami.
The Lady Wardogs held a 20-12 advantage in the third frame, outscoring the hosts 12-2 over the final 3:05 to slash the deficit back to 49-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
The momentum Miami had gained slipped away as the Lady Wildcats scored the first five points of the quarter.
Neosho held a 14-12 edge over the last eight minutes to secure its 15th win of the season.
“We went out and fought hard,” Morgan said. “Hopefully this is a signal that we’re getting a little bit of maturity. Right now is when we need it.”
Katie Osborn had 11 points to head up the scoring for Miami. Kelsey Neal added eight points and Courtnei Young scored seven.
Vlasin had 25 for the Lady Wildcats.
Miami returns home to host Wagoner on Friday in Verdigris Valley Conference play.
Miami 7 9 20 12 — 48
Neosho, Mo. 17 20 12 14 — 63
Miami — Osborn 11, Neal 8, Young 7, Stewart 6, Mullin 6, Swan 5, Rowland 2, Rhodes 2, Carder 1.
Neosho — Vlasin 25, Snow 16, M. White 9, Murray 7, Hulsey 3, H. White 3.
3-point goals — Swan 1, Young 1, Mullin 1, Snow 4, H. White 1.