COFFEYVILLE, Kan. - Ouch.
Letting a six-point fourth-quarter slip away, Miami suffered a gut-wrenching 69-59 overtime loss to the Field Kindley High School Golden Tornado here Friday night in an interstate basketball clash.
The loss - which comes in a building that the Wardogs have not won in under head coach Rusty Mercer - wraps up the SEK League portion of the Wardogs' schedule at 2-1.
They beat Coffeyville and Labette County High School of Altamont, Kan., in back-to-back games before the Christmas break.
“It was hard to describe,” Mercer said. “It was another chapter in our quandaries up there. I feel good about one aspect of the game and bad on the other. We just weren't very focused or sharp.”
Miami (6-2) travels to Grove Tuesday night then hosts Jay next Friday in Verdigris Valley Conference play.
The game was a contrast from the earlier meeting, which saw the Wardogs claim a 63-44 win Dec. 16 at the Dogdome.
In that game, it was Miami that jumped out to the early lead and coasted into the half with a 14-point advantage.
But in Friday's rematch, the Golden Tornado took advantage of the home court to break out to a 17-12 lead in the first eight minutes.
As a result, the Wardogs were playing catch-up most of the evening. They fell behind 33-27 at the half.
One of the factors in the December meeting was the play of center Cody Corntassel. He had nine blocked shots, eight in the first half, to help keep the Kansans at bay.
But he was in foul trouble much of the night and finally exited for good with 31.8 seconds left in regulation.
Senior forward Adam Dean, who had only nine points in the first meeting, stung Miami for a season-high 28 in the rematch. He got 15 in the first half.
The Dogs finally took a 42-39 lead with 1:28 left in the third quarter on a 3-point goal by Michael Anderson. That capped a 7-0 run that erased a 39-35 deficit.
Coffeyville trimmed the gap to one with a jumper by Cody Stephenson. However, a trey by Anderson and a bucket from the middle of the lane by Trent Turner staked Miami to a 47-41 advantage with 6:20 left in the game.
That evaporated when the Golden Tornado went on a 9-2 run that left the game tied at 50 with 3:40 left in regulation.
The lead changed hands three times before Elijah Hershey hit the back end of a two-shot foul with 31.8 seconds left to create a 56-56 deadlock.
“We showed some toughness there because that is a tough place to play,” Mercer said. “We put ourselves in a position to win it. But I was disappointed that we couldn't come up with the defensive stops we needed.”
Coffeyville got a backdoor layup from Hershey in the first 11 seconds of the extra period and was never threatened after that.
The Wardogs managed only three free throws and went 0-for-7 from the field in the four-minute overtime period.
“I think we panicked the first three or four possessions,” Mercer said “We shot ball quick and that allowed them to get back kn trans tot awsay from us pretty quck.
Anderson nailed five treys en route to a 19-point performance. Corntassel had 14 points and Freeman scored 10, eight coming in the first quarter.
Joining Dean in double figures for the Golden Tornado was Hershey with 13.
Coffeyville held a whopping 52-28 edge in rebounding, with 28 of those coming at the offensive end.