Home hasn’t been so sweet for the Miami boys.
The Wardogs hope to improve on their 1-4 record at the Dogdome tonight when they host Locust Grove in a Verdigris Valley Conference basketball game.
The game marks homecoming for MHS.
An assembly was held this morning to introduce the candidates. The winners will be announced in ceremonies between games.
The boys’ game will be played first tonight, tipping off at 6:30 p.m. The girls’ contest — the Lady Wardogs’ Pink Zone celebration — will follow at about 8 p.m.
“It’s been a strange year — we just have not played well at home,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer. “We really want to finish this thing off at home the right way. It’s two games before we head into the playoffs, so it’s important for us to get it turned around and be where we want to be come next Friday.”
“Next Friday” is the start of the Class 4A playoffs, where Miami travels to Vinita for the Area II District 5 tournament.
Vinita completed a regular-season sweep over the Wardogs Tuesday night, coasting to a 61-53 victory at the Jimmy Sooter Gymnasium.
The loss was the third straight for the Wardogs (9-9), who have dropped four of their last five games.
Locust Grove had been in a slump even worse than the one MHS is enduring.
A 67-62 loss to the Wardogs on Jan. 16 started Locust Grove on a six-game skid.
The Pirates beat Grove 55-51 last Friday, then they’ve dropped two straight.
“They’ve had a stretch like us where they’ve played a lot of people close but haven’t been winning as much lately,” Mercer said. “They also have faced the tougher part of their schedule.”
Miami had four players score in double figures when it battled the Pirates in the January meeting.
The Wardogs trailed 43-41 midway through the third quarter but used an 8-0 run to take the lead for good.
Trent Turner had 18 points to lead the Miami scoring. James Pickens added 15 points while Tony Rodriguez and Johnny Brice scored 12 each.
“They present some problems because they have good size and have perimeter kids who can handle it and shoot as well,” Mercer said. “They are a well-balanced team. They’ve always had good athletes.”
After today’s games, Miami has just one more home date at the Dogdome — a Monday clash with Grove.
A big gathering is expected for the game, with responses received from a number of former players and coaches.
A chili feed/mixer is planned for 4:30 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room of the Civic Center.
Those attending will be recognized over the course of the evening and a closing ceremony is planned for immediately following the boys’ game.