As 6 p.m. rolled around Tuesday night in Deer Creek, no basketball game started. 15, 30 minutes went by, still no basketball game. Regulation began at 6:54 p.m., because there were no referees.
It was discovered that the game between Yukon (0-3) and Deer Creek (3-0) slipped through the cracks in scheduling referees to be there. Deer Creek athletic officials quickly realized their mistake and scrambled to find someone, anyone, to officiate the game.
Once the men in black and white stripes made their appearance on the hardwood, Deer Creek and Yukon fans came together to give them a standing ovation.
“I’ve never seen this happen for a varsity game, I’ve seen it happen in JV games,” coach Roy Wycoff said. “It’s not Deer Creek’s fault, it’s not Yukon’s fault. Someone just made a mistake and we had to wait a little time, I didn’t think it was a big deal.”
Though they were late arriving, the referees wasted no time blowing their whistles.
By the end of the first period, Yukon committed five fouls. Three and a half minutes into the second period the Millerettes committed their sixth foul, putting them in the bonus for the remainder of the half.
By halftime Yukon was assessed 10 fouls. The early trouble limited their defensive production.
“We want to get up and disrupt things and cause problems,” Wycoff said. “When we foul that much early it does affect us.”
Though they had trouble in the early going with fouls, it wasn’t the defense that cost the Millerettes the 38-28 loss.
The Lady Antlers deployed a full court press and ran it to near perfection, causing numerous turnovers on the Yukon side. Coughing up the basketball limited their offensive production.
“We went over it (the full court press) in walkthrough,” Wycoff said. “We knew where to go and what to do. I felt like we were in good space, we were just staring at where we wanted to throw it and then our passes were getting tipped.
“You’ve got to give them credit for that. They’re long and athletic. They’re 3-0 for a reason.”
Turnovers were half the battle on offense.
When the Millerettes were able to break free from the press, they couldn’t convert on shots around the basket. Wycoff said finishing the easy attempts could dramatically change the perception of the offense.
“We’ve got to start taking care of the ball,” he said. “If we can take care of the basketball and finish around the basket, automatically we score an extra 20 or 30 points. I just felt like we left so many points out there.”
Making the open shot will come in time.
“I think it’s patience and getting more into their body before we finish,” Wycoff said. “I think they’re all fixable things and I think this team has room to improve and be really tough as we move throughout the season. Right now, offensively, we’re pretty poor.
“Until we start to correct that, we’re going to struggle.”
The Millerettes haven’t notched a single win in three games this season but their performances have been encouraging. The stat sheet showed turnovers and fouls yet they only lost by 10 points. Limiting their opponents but not coming through on the scoreboard has caused aggravation.
“It’s frustrating,” said Wycoff. “I feel like we played hard. To hold them down to 38 points and to just continue to smoke possession after possession on the offensive side is discouraging and frustrating.”
The Millerettes play once again Friday Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. at Edmond Santa Fe.