Miami’s boys did just enough to hang around in the first half of Saturday night’s game with Seneca, Mo.
The second half was a different story.
The Indians took advantage of a definite size advantage and a good shooting touch to pull away and chalk up a 68-45 victory at the Dogdome.
“We hung in there for a while,” Mercer said. “We rebounded well in the first half and did enough stuff to hang around. We just never could get it going. Their size affected us as much on defense around the basket as it did trying to guard them as well.
“We missed some easy shots and altered some shots,” he said. “Once it got away from us, they were pretty impressive. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit — they were very impressive.”
The Indians, posting their 12th straight win, improved to 15-2 while Miami slipped to 9-6.
The Wardogs led just once all night — 3-2 on a conventional 3-point play by Casey Hunter with 27 seconds elapsed.
But a trey by Toby Roelfsema started an 11-0 run by Seneca that set the tone for the game.
The Indians led 15-9 after the first quarter and 28-22 at the half.
Miami chipped away at the deficit when Tony Rodriguez drained a 12-footer at the start of the third period.
A layup by Nick Chastain and a bucket from inside by Strykes Harris kicked off a 9-1 spurt by the Indians that highlighted a 24-point third quarter.
As a result, the six-point halftime deficit grew into a 19-point crater heading into the final stanza.
That’s when a 16-12 advantage over the last eight minutes helped Seneca hold the Wardogs at bay.
Hunter was Miami’s leading scorer with 11 points. Trent Turner added eight while Rodriguez, Hayden Delano, Keaton Blevins and Kade Pogue netted five each.
Alex Scott paced the Indians with 17 points while Roelfsema had 14, Chastain 13 and Harris 10.
The Wardogs face a third straight out-of-state foe on Tuesday, traveling to Neosho, Mo.
Seneca, Mo. 15 13 24 16 — 68
Miami 9 13 11 12 — 45
Seneca — Scott 17, Roelfsema 14, Chastain 13, Harris 10, Cable 5, Noah 4, Esposito 3, Jewell 2.
Miami — Hunter 11, Turner 8, Rodriguez 5, Delano, Blevins, Pogue 5, Brice 4, Millard 2.
3-point goals — Roelfsema 2, Scott 2, Esposito 1, Cable 1, Delano 1, Pogue 1.