Miami managed only seven points in the first half of Thursday night’s Boys’ Round Robin game against Tulsa Lincoln Christian.
Yet the Wardogs had a chance to pull out a victory in the NEO Tournament game at the Miami Activity Center.
The Bulldogs, clinging to a 43-40 advantage with less than a minute remaining, took advantage of a turnover and a misfire by MHS to claim a 44-43 victory.
“To have the ball in our hands and have a shot to tie it was pretty remarkable.” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “They frustrated us for quite a long time defensively.”
The seven points were the fewest for a Mercer-coached Miami team since the 2000-01 season, when the Dogs managed only five in a half at Grove.
Yet they managed to win that game — and they came within an eyelash of doing it Thursday night.
“We tried to make it interesting,” said Lincoln Christian coach Teddy Owens. “We are not the team we were last year. We are playing guys without a lot of experience and there are times we’re going to get rattled.”
“Coach Mercer had his guys prepared,” said Owens, son of former Kansas and Oral Roberts coach Ted Owens. “They knew when to trap and where to trap. They did a good job down the stretch.”
Lincoln carried a 30-15 lead into the fourth quarter and bumped its cushion to 34-15 when Cole Johnson hit a bucket and two free throws.
Hayden Delano drained a 3-pointer to jump-start the Wardogs.
Two free throws and a tip-in by Casey Hunter melted the deficit down to 10 with 2:29 remaining, then Pogue bombed his third trey of the period. That left the Bulldogs with a 39-32 advantage at 2:08.
Four free throws by Clay Wilson countered a bonus bucket by Pogue, making it 43-35 with 90 ticks remaining.
Pogue’s final trey came on a shot from the top of the key, then Tony Rodriguez tacked on two free throws, leaving MHS with a 43-40 deficit.
Those would be the Wardogs’ final points, though.
“We hit some shots and got some energy,” Mercer said. “We really executed a lot of our shots in the fourth quarter.”
Wilson poured in 27 points for the Bulldogs. He had six field goals, three treys and was 6-of-6 at the free throw line.
“We did variety of different things and every time we made a mistake, he was jumping up and making us pay,” Mercer said.
Pogue finished with 15 points while Delano added 11 for Miami.
“I was proud of our guys,” Mercer said. “We struggled to execute some of our sets in the first three quarters, but we really executed in the fourth quarter.”
Miami faces Roland tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the MAC.