Miami starts an important stretch run Friday night when it hosts Neosho, Mo., for homecoming.

“We need all the wins we can get for seeding purposes,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “These next two weeks are pretty important.”

An assembly will be at 10:45 a.m. Friday to introduce the candidates, then the coronation ceremonies will be held between games.

The boys’ game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. with the girls’ contest following at about 8 p.m.

The Wardogs slipped from ninth to 10th in the coaches’ rankings for 5A teams on the east side of Oklahoma.

“Last year we were 12th, so if we can stay around 9 or 10, that would be better (for seedings),” Mercer said. “We know who is in the east and who is in the west. The next two weeks of voting will rank the 16 teams so we know where we’re at playoff-wise.”

Regional pairings will be announced Feb. 7 by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

This marks the third straight weekend Miami will play back-to-back games.

MHS played at Locust Grove, then hosted Vinita on Jan. 18-19, then played pool games in the Northeastern A&M High School Basketball Tournament last weekend.

And this weekend, they follow up the Neosho homecoming games with Verdigris Valley Conference games at Jay on Saturday.

The Wardogs have been idle since a 56-47 victory over Mannford in the final round of Boys’ Blue bracket play.

“The time off has been good,” Mercer said. “We’ve had couple good practices. I will keep my fingers crossed that we’re not going to be sick. It seems there are a lot of people sick out there. We’ve had a few kids here and there with a bit of it, but hopefully we will stay away from it.

Senior Michael Anderson missed school Wednesday. His status for the weekend is not certain.

“This time of year is when you want to be playing Friday-Saturday anyway as opposed to earlier in the year when things aren’t quite where you want them to be,” Mercer said. “It doesn’t take as much to go back-to-back this time of year, plus the playoffs are around the corner.

Neosho’s boys suffered a 60-46 loss to Carthage, Mo., in a Southwest Conference game Tuesday night.

“Neosho is similar to what they were last year,” Mercer said. “They’ve been a little up- and-down. I’m not sure of their record, but they have some decent perimeter kids and one kid in the post who poses some problems. It seems the last few years, their record isn’t very good but they are used to playing quality people. You have to take their record with a grain of salt.”

Miami’s girls look to break an extended losing streak when they host the Lady Wildcats.

The MHS girls dropped all three games in the NEO tournament, including a 48-21 loss to Willard, Mo.

Neosho’s girls posted a 49-45 win over Carthage Tuesday night.