MIAMI – A pair of teams coming off tough Tuesday night losses square off Friday night at the Civic Center when Miami entertains Inola.
This will be just the second time the Wardogs have played a game at what had been home for the MHS basketball programs until their move to the Miami Activity Center in 2010.
While the Wardogs suffered their first loss of the season, a 65-56 setback against 4A No. 20 Tulsa Rogers, Inola dropped a 55-49 decision to Claremore Sequoyah.
The Longhorns suffered a 55-49 loss to Claremore Sequoyah on Tuesday.
“They have a couple really good scorers and they have decent size inside,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “We match up sizewise with them. They play fast.”
Cass Freeman had 20 points and Micah Bell added 18 in the loss to Rogers County rival Sequoyah.
Inola head coach Clyde Barkley was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association hall of fame last summer.
Barkley has spent 37 years at Inola, winning 629 games.
“Clyde has been there a long time,” Mercer said. “I have (coached) 21 years and that's feeble to how long he's been there.”
Barkley's son, Justin, spent two seasons as an assistant at Northeastern A&M under Dustin Grover. Justin Barkley is in his sixth season as head men's coach at Rogers State in Claremore.
This is the first time the teams have played since the 2006 season when Miami held on for a 61-59 victory in 4A playoff action
Tulsa Rogers grabbed a 48-46 lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter then outscored MHS 17-10 down the stretch.
“We played well the entire game,” Mercer said. “We went with the script we needed. We had to make them a jump-shooting team, which we did. As athletic as they are, you kinda hope they don't shoot well, but they did. They made a lot of shots.
“I can't ask any more from our guys. We played the way we had to play. We just didn't have enough at the end.”
Miami had led 30-29 at the half, but Rogers held a 19-16 edge in the third.
Colt Summers scored 20 points while Alec Hayward and Kameron Jinks added 13 and 12, respectively.
Caden Mercer tallied eight and Jack Osborn drained a 3-point goal for his only points in the third period.
Laquirous Taft had 21 points for the Ropers. He got 14 of that in the second half and eight in the third frame.
He was joined in double figures by Demaree King with 12 and Jamie Wright and Dovell Battle with 12 each.
“They are good,” Mercer said. “We knew what we were getting in to having seen them at the NEO tournament last year. They're a little better this year. Playing them at Rogers and in that kind of venue, I came away extremely proud of the way our guys played.
“I think our guys are confident wherever we play.”
After Friday night's game, the Wardogs will be idle until Jan. 5, when they host St. Mary's-Colgan of Pittsburg, Kansas.