Miami survived a second half run by Coffeyville, Kan., to claim a 68-63 victory in the 2007-08 season opener for both schools here Friday night.
The Wardogs, who led by 11 at one point early in the third quarter, saw that melt down to one thanks to a rally fueled by the visitors' Mitch Rolls.
However, an 18-15 advantage down the stretch gave Miami its second/third straight win over the Golden Tornado.
“We had a couple nice runs,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “They'd jump up and hit a big shot or two. We had a couple periods where we got a little out of sync and they would turn turnovers or quick shots into points on the other end. But we settled down and kept it from being a track meet.”
“We fought hard and stayed in there,” Coffeyville coach Dan Walls said. “We got close but couldn't quite get over the hump. This will be a good game for us to show where we need to work and get better. This is a tough team to open with.”
Coffeyville senior Mitch Rolls showed why he's drawing attention from a number of NCAA Division I schools by scoring 36 points on a variety of shots.
He got 16 of the 18 Golden Tornado points in the fourth quarter.
Rolls nailed 12 two-point field goals, added three treys and converted on 3 of 5 free throws.
“I was happy with our defense on him, to tell you the truth,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “If Trent (Turner) and Michael (Anderson) were in a little better condition - Trent was really sick and Michael was cramping up - we probably would have started face-guarding them a little bit and trapping them a little bit. I toyed with the idea of going box-and-one.”
Anderson had 24 points for the Wardogs, canning four 3-pointers and two conventional field goals. He missed just once on eight trips to the free throw line.
“We never got them out of their offense - he (Rolls) just kept jumping up and hitting shots,” Mercer said. “I thought if we kept contesting on rebounds, we'd be all right,” Mercer said. “We did enough on our end.”
The Wardogs turned a 12-10 first quarter deficit into a 29-21 lead at the break. They carried a four-point cushion heading into the final stanza.
Two buckets by Rolls countered a free throw by Turner, cutting Miami's lead down to 50-49 with 6:24 left in the game.
That's the closest the Golden Tornado would get, as MHS took off on a 9-2 surge that created a 59-51 edge at the 3:20 mark.
“Miami is really good,” Walls said. “We've had to deal with Anderson for four years. He's a great player. And (Jake) Roberts played super.”
Roberts had a career-high 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
“We expect him to have nights like that,” Mercer said. “
Turner also reached double figures for the Wardogs, netting 14 points.
“We outrebounded them 30-26 and they only had two offensive rebounds in the second half,” Mercer said. “They outrebounded us by 28 last year. I don't think we've ever outrebounded Coffeyville in my eight years.
“We've changed our defense a bit - we've taken some of the aggressiveness out of it so we would be in better position for rebounding.”
Miami faces Bristow at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the Sperry Tournament.
Miami 68, Coffeyville 63
Coffeyville, Kan. 12 9 24 18 - 63
Miami 10 19 20 19 - 68
Coffeyville - Roll 15 3-5 36, Walton 3 0-0 6, Wright 0 0-0 0, Caresio 2 0-0 4, King 0 0-0 0, Craig 4 2-2 10, Scourman 2 1-2 5, Cordray 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 6-9 63.
Miami - Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Roberts 7 1-2 19, Pickens 0 2-2 2, Anderson 6, 8-9 24, Garrett 0 0-0 0, Chesnut 2 3-3 7, Turner 5 4-7 14, Hamm 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 19-23 68.
3-point goals - Roll 3, Roberts 3, Anderson 4. Total fouls - Coffeyville 21, Miami 10. Fouled out - Cordray.