Yukon’s season came to an end Thursday night, however, it didn’t come without a fight.
In the early going of the Millerettes’ 50-38 loss to Edmond Memorial, it looked as though Yukon was going to get run out of the gym, but they put up a close contest.
Even without two of their starters, bench players stepped up to keep it tight. Guard Meya Case (ankle) and forward Sydney Brown (shoulder) both sat on the bench for the first round match up, just the latest in a series of frustrating events for the Millerettes this season.
Edmond Memorial jumped out to a 7-0 lead when coach Roy Wyckoff called for a timeout. His team responded to his delight.
“They came out and got up 7-0 then we called a timeout and the girls stayed real calm, real even,” Wyckoff said. “I was super proud of them, they could have folded right there.”
The Millerettes came out of the timeout and narrowed the deficit, trailing 11-10 at the end of the first period.
Even in the second quarter they kept it close. At the halftime break, Edmond Memorial led 22-15. It was the third quarter that caused the game to get out of reach.
The Lady Bulldogs scored 13 to Yukon’s five in the third, creating a 35-20 score by the time the buzzer sounded.
The fourth quarter proved to be much more promising. Yukon came back with the fire they showed in the first half, cutting the lead down to nine points at one time.
To win games, Yukon knew they have to keep the score low. Their plan to do that was executed.
“Our game plan coming in was, not to run the clock, but we wanted to be deliberate offensively to slow them down,” Wyckoff said. “We wanted to keep the score low, I thought our girls did a tremendous job of that. It got a little insurmountable in that third quarter but we were doing what we wanted to do.”
Sunny Middleton finished the game with 19 points, leading all Millerettes. Her aggressiveness impressed Wyckoff.
“I thought Sunny was fantastic tonight. I thought that was the best game she’s played all year, I thought she was fantastic. I couldn’t had been prouder of her. I wish we could have gotten a really cool upset her senior year and rewarded her,” Wyckoff said.
A’munique Holmes scored 11 points. Jaylee Watson had five. Natalie Laidley rounded out the scoring on the night with three of her own.
A team that has had their share of difficult times showed resiliency on the hardwood.
“It’s been a tough season, they’ve dealt with a lot of adversity,” Wyckoff said. “I was really proud of the girls that are in that locker room, how they finished well, how they competed down to the last second. they’ve dealt with a lot so I was proud of how they conducted themselves. I was proud to be their coach tonight.”
At various points in the night, they could have given up. However, they played down to the last second of the game.
“I was really proud of the group that’s in the locker room of how they could have just thrown in the towel, but, instead, they picked the towel up, wiped themselves off, and got back out there. I was really proud of them.”
Whether Yukon takes the adversity they’ve dealt with to their advantage or not is to be determined.
“Hopefully we can take this year and not make excuses, not complain, not be frustrated, but learn from it,” Wyckoff said. “How do you respond to adversity when you’re dealt a tough hand, when it doesn’t go the way you want it to go? What do you do then? I think, if we respond properly, I think we can look back on this year and say we learned more that year than maybe any other year.”