SENECA, Mo. — Once they overcame the intimidation factor, Miami played on even terms with Seneca, Mo.
The Indians broke out to a 19-6 lead in the first quarter then coasted to a 55-32 victory over MHS here Saturday night.
“I don't think there is any doubt this is the best bunch they’ve had since we’ve been playing them,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “I expect them to make a pretty deep playoff run. It was a tough matchup for us, obviously.”
The Indians, with four of their five starters standing 6-3 or taller, improved to 10-2 while Miami slipped to 2-7.
Stryker Harris, a 6-7 senior forward, had 20 points, including 10 in the first quarter and 14 in the first half.
Toby Roelfsema, a 6-4 senior point guard, added 13.
Prior to the game, he was recognized for going over the 1,000-point mark in his career Friday night in a win over Carl Junction, Mo.
“Roelfsema is a really nice looking player,” Mercer said. “I am glad he’s a senior. With his size, being 6-4 and a point guard, he sees over defenses and and really distributes the ball the way well. He is such a good post passer. He makes them really good.”
The Wardogs, down 20 at the half, outscored Seneca 15-7 in the third quarter, cutting the gap to 39-25.
However, the Indians regained momentum and outscored Miami 16-7 over the final eight minutes.
“Our effort picked up, but I also think some of the intimidation was gone,” Mercer said. “I challenged the guys at halftime. Obviously they are really big and I think we were really intimidated. We didn’t handle their their size very well defensively.
“We played bigger than what we were in the second half, both on offense and defense.”
The Wardogs got nine points from Hayden Delano. Casey Hunter added eight while Tony Rodriguez and Jacob Cheatham added six.
“Again, we’re still searching for more consistency,” Mercer said. “When we’re down, we’re fighting. The problem is we can’t sit around and wait. We just need to put a consistent 32 minutes together so we don’t put ourselves in that position. We didn’t respond well.”
The Wardogs are idle until Thursday, when they play Tulsa Lincoln Christian at 7:30 p.m. in the Miami Activity Center in a first-round game in the NEO Tournament.
Miami 6 4 15 7 — 32
Seneca, Mo. 19 13 7 16 — 55
Miami — Delano 9, Hunter 8, Rodriguez 6, Cheatham 6, Millard 3, Pogue 2.
Seneca — Harris 20, Roelfsema 13, Wohlenhaus 7, Chasten 5, Cobble 3, Carruthers 3, Lindsey 2.
3-point goals — Miami, Delano 1; Seneca, Wohlenhaus 2, Roelfsema 1.