Through the first seven games of the season, the Yukon boys’ basketball team has a record of 1-6 but the Millers have faced some of the state’s top teams and are improving every time they take the court.
Yukon dropped a tough home contest to Edmond Memorial 57-52 on Friday. The top-10 ranked Bulldogs were the fourth highly-ranked opponent the Millers have faced this year.
“We are about 60-90 seconds from winning games right now,” Yukon coach Kevin Ritter said. “That’s what I told the guys after the game in the locker room. I just told them to stick with it and not get down on themselves. We have played a really tough schedule and we have played everyone close except for one game.”
Yukon guard Karsten Berg was the leading scorer with 15 points. All of Berg’s points came from beyond the three-point arc.
“When we run our offense and move the ball, we get the shots we want, and we are making them,” Ritter said. “When we get stagnant on offense and stop moving the ball, that’s when you see turnovers and that 60-90 seconds where the other teams have gone on their runs and put us in a hole.”
In the first quarter, the Millers started strong. They were moving the ball on offense and knocking down open shots, while playing solid defense against the talented Edmond Memorial squad.
Yukon scored 15 points in the opening period and held the Bulldogs to 12.
The second quarter was a different story on the offensive end of the court. The Millers weren’t moving the ball around as well and struggled to make open shots when they got them. However, the defense was stout. Yukon made life miserable for Memorial.
The Millers outscored the Bulldogs 7-4 in the second period to take a 22-16 lead into halftime.
The third quarter is where things got away from Yukon.
Memorial came out swinging in the second half on the offensive end of the floor. The Bulldogs scored 16 points in the first two quarters and in the third frame, they put up 27.
The Millers also had their best offensive quarter in the third with 16 points, but it wasn’t enough to maintain the six-point lead they held at the break.
Yukon trailed Edmond Memorial 43-38 heading into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, the Millers had a solid offensive quarter with 14 points, but the Bulldogs also scored 14 points to make the final 57-52 in favor of Edmond Memorial.
Following Berg in the scoring department was Michael Clanton with nine points. Carvell McKinley added eight points. Austin Henry scored seven points. Austin Olea had six points. Carson Price finished with five points and Tyler Dechant had two points.
“We need to stay together as a team,” Ritter said. “We need to stick together. We have changed some of our offensive philosophy to fit our personnel. We need to stay bought in and things are going to change next semester.”