An unusual occurrance cost the Millers a chance at the Weatherford High School Basketball Tournament championship.
Yukon picked up a win in the first round against Class 5A No. 18-ranked Guthrie and their game against Tuttle proved to be an anomaly.
The Millers dropped the game against the 4A school 69-67. Their opponent attempted 39 free throws to their nine.
“We knew it was a little off set during the game and then I got home and looked at the book and started counting and I thought, ‘wow,’” coach Kevin Ritter said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that big of a discrepancy in a game. Considering they had fouled out four of their guys the game before. They finished with 12 total fouls in the game.”
The Tigers were successful on 23 of the 39 attempts. Yukon sank 7 of their 9 shots.
The Millers had their chances to win the game. With 10 seconds remaining, Yukon fired up a three that missed, gathered the rebound, missed the put-back shot, then fouled the Tigers. Tuttle missed the 38th and 39th free throws, giving Yukon the chance to win the game, but their three was no good.
“That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Ritter said. “It didn’t seem like it was that much of us being foul happy but that’s how it goes. They were able to beat us by two shooting 30 more free throws.”
Though they beat Guthrie and lost to Tuttle, Yukon played better against the Tigers according to Ritter.
“I still felt better after that game (against Tuttle) than I did after the game we won the night before. I didn’t feel like we played well that game, we were just lucky enough to get the win,” he said. We played well enough to win that game, we just weren’t able to get the win.”
After their loss to Tuttle Friday night, Yukon was set to play Weatherford for the third-place spot.
The Eagles, 4-7 on the season, put up a fight but the Millers came out with a 59-56 victory.
Later that evening Tuttle was crowned Weatherford tournament champions, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of the team that was nearly in their spot.
“It makes it a little more frustrating knowing Tuttle turned around and won the championship the next night,” Ritter said. “I feel like we had a chance. The John Marshall coach came by and told us we played well the night before, just unfortunately things didn’t go our way.
“It’s a little frustrating in that fact but I feel like we’re getting better.”
Winning the tournament would have been a mark for the Millers.
They’ll get a chance again in the Newcastle tournament.
“We’d always love to win a tournament, especially for seniors,” said Ritter. “To win a tournament during the season, no matter what happens the rest of the year, it’s kind of a nice thing to hang your hat on.”