Yukon boy’s basketball completed a rare sweep in a rivalry series against Mustang.
The Millers defeated the Broncos 52-43 to pick up their second victory over Mustang and take a win into the playoffs.
Yukon and Mustang first met on the Millers’ home court, the host team taking a 57-44 win. After Friday’s game, coach Kevin Ritter admitted it took some time for his team to come around to beating an opponent twice in one year.
“We came out like a team that’s not used to dealing with success of winning a game against somebody and trying to beat them again. First, you have to learn how to win, and then you’ve got to learn how to deal with winning,” he said.
The Millers came out slow, letting the Broncos take a 12-10 lead at the end of the first period. Shaking off the sluggish beginning, they picked up the scoring in the second quarter.
“I think we had quite a few turnovers to start off,” Ritter said. “We didn’t execute some things early and they weren’t getting where they were supposed to be. We hit some shots, but we didn’t shoot a lot of shots. We got lulled into that slow, slow game that they want to play.”
The second quarter saw Yukon outscore Mustang 14-7, setting up a 24-19 halftime lead.
Carson Price lit up the Bronco Event Center from behind the three-point arc. The senior guard connected on four three-pointers in the first half of the game en route to a game-high 22 points.
Yukon is going to need another high scoring night from Price this Friday if they’re going to take down Deer Creek in round one of the regional tournament.
“That helps a lot, if he (Price) can hit shots,” Ritter said. “We’re going to have to hit shots against Deer Creek, I think we’re going to see a lot of the same kind of defense. We’re going to have to hit some shots against them and get out on the break and try and push the tempo a little more.”
Yukon returned in the second half, taking care of business.
The Millers didn’t blow out their opponent, rather, they did what was necessary to walk out with a win, employing tactics to run out the clock such as holding the ball so the Broncos didn’t get chances to score.
“They weren’t coming to get us,” Ritter said. “Let’s just get through it and get a win. Any win is a good win but, let’s just not let them get close and think they have a chance.”
The win against Mustang was Yukon’s eighth on the road of 10 wins on the year. Ritter attribuited the quiet crowd for their success.
“It’s not the same atmosphere it’s been the past four or five years but maybe that’s what’s helped us on the road, we haven’t had any crazy crowds,” he said.
The Millers can’t rely on silent audiences in the playoffs.
Yukon will take on Deer Creek Friday at Norman North High School beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Millers have lost both games to the Antlers by a combined score of 125-88, but they feel their odds are better than the first round matchup they faced last season.
“I feel confident we have a chance,” Ritter said. “Last year it was going to be a rough thing. Playing the eventual state champions first round at their place, that was a mighty steep hill to climb. I think now we have a puncher’s chance to go out there and try to beat them.”