MIAMI — It wasn't a work of art, but the bottom line was Miami picked up its fourth win in the past five games Saturday with a 41-37 victory over Cassville, Missouri.
MHS had rolled to a 54-37 win against Seneca Thursday night.
The lone setback during that run was a 49-48 overtime loss to Claremore Sequoyah two nights earlier.
“Three games in six days right after the break, I think we were a little bit gassed,” Miami coach Robert Neill said. “But it’s not an excuse. I told the girls if they wanted to get to the next level they want to be at, you have to fight through it.
“We were able to grind it out. We saw some things at the end of the game where we are not situationally aware of what’s going on and what needs to happen.”
It was the Lady Wardogs’ fourth win in last five games, the lone setback a 49-48 overtime loss to Claremore Sequoyah here on Dec. 5.
A hectic stretch continues for MHS, which hosts Wagoner Tuesday night then travels to Vinita on Friday, Jan. 15.
The Lady Wardogs (4-4) then won’t play again until Jan. 26, when they host Jay.
“I am hoping we are ready to turn the corner,” Neill said. “We get closer every game, every practice, to turning the corner where everything snaps together and we get rid of the silly turnovers, block out on every shot and get into a situation where we understand what to do every time.”
Cassville had led 11-6 after the opening frame, but a bucket by Beca Hopping off a feed from Kiah Payton gave MHS the lead for good, 17-15.
It was 22-17 at the break and 33-23 heading into the final stanza.
The Wildcats created what would be the final margin with 33.9 seconds left on a conventional three-point play by Sharijah Selmar.
“I will take a win any day of the week no matter how it comes. It’s better than the alternative,” Neill said.
Hopping finished with 15 points to head up the Miami scoring.
Payton added seven points, followed by Sara Acupan, Ruthie Hammons and Kylie Jinks with five each and Chloe Preaus contributed four.
Kyren Postlewait was Cassville’s top scorer with 10 points.
Miami 54, Seneca 37
The Lady Wardogs never trailed, grabbing a 6-0 lead in the opening three minutes.
They were up 16-7 after one and carried a 12-point advantage into the half.
Miami held a 20-9 advantage in the third quarter.
“We ran our stuff a lot better,” Neill said. “We executed a whole lot better. We made some smarter decisions on offense at times and shot it a little better (than Tuesday).
Hopping had a season-best 25 points for Miami, getting 14 of that in the second half.
Others with points for the Lady Wardogs were Jinks with nine; Acupan, eight, Payton, seven, and Preaus, two.
Seneca’s top scorer was Aliya Grotjohn with 25 points.