Late in the Mustang-Yukon boys basketball game Tuesday night, Bronco coach Scott Hodges called timeout after the Millers’ lead reached 14 points late in the third quarter.
“Everyone had their heads down,” MHS senior guard Carter Holland said. “I told everybody to get their heads up … that there was a lot of time left for us to come back and win.”
Holland may not be a clairvoyant, but his words apparently resonated with his teammates during the Bedlam clash at the Mustang High School Event Center.
Guard Ethan Scott scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, Cade Schroeder added seven points and Jacobe Johnson contributed six over that span as 20th-ranked MHS rallied for a rousing 62-58 victory before about 700 fans during homecoming.
Johnson, a 6-foot-3 freshman, finished with 14 points and five rebounds while seniors Schroeder and Kyle Madison netted 12 and nine points, respectively.
“It probably was the sweetest win of my career,” said Holland, who contributed a crucial steal and fourth-quarter 3-pointer. “It was our first time to beat Yukon.”
It was Hodges’ first Yukon-Mustang contest and a good way to start the rivalry, he said.
Mustang (8-9) used its aggressive man-to-man defense and 1-2-2 full-court press to outscore No. 15 Yukon (9-7) 33-15 over the last 11 minutes.
“That’s the fourth time it’s happened to us,” Yukon coach Kevin Ritter said of the Millers letting victory slip from their grasp.
“We started pressing them in the fourth quarter and sped them up, got them to shoot some bad shots,” Hodges said. “I liked the shots we were taking, we rebounded well and we took some charges.
“I told the kids afterward in the locker room that I thought they grew up as a team.”
The Broncos faced their biggest deficit, 43-29 with 3:17 left in the third period after Colby Baker’s fast-break basket. Mustang still trailed 51-40 with 5:41 left.
But Scott drained two 3-balls and Holland one. The Broncos also forced six turnovers during a 20-5 rampage.
“Shooters shoot. I knew I was due for a few makes,” said a confident Scott. “It’s a game of runs. Fortunately, we had our’s at the end.“
Scott hit 6-of-11 shots from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
A 94 percent free-thrower, Scott produced a 56-all tie by cashing two foul shots with 2:03 left after a technical foul was called on a Yukon player.
Johnson gave MHS a 60-58 lead, sinking two free throws with 55 seconds to go.
“After Yukon’s Brayden Dutton missed a 3-pointer, Holland whipped an assist underneath to Schroeder, whose bucket with 20.7 left put Mustang ahead 60-56.
“We really came together as a group,” said Schroeder, who tallied 10 of his 12 points in the second half. “We’ve had (losses) happen too many times lately. We weren’t going to let that happen again.”
Dayne McBroom’s two foul shot drew Yukon within 60-58 with 11.4 seconds remaining.
But the Broncos were able to inbounds the ball to Scott, who after being fouled calmly sank both free shots with 9.9 seconds to provide the final margin.
“I just tried to clear my head. It’s just me and the rim,” Scott said after going 4-for-4 at the foul line..
A 5-10 sophomore, Scott scored 15 points in the second half after Yukon grabbed a 33-22 lead at intermission.
Senior guard-forward Justus Reister had 16 points and eight rebounds to lead Yukon. But he scored only five points in the second half and none in the fourth quarter.
Miller senior guard Carson Lambakis and Baker, a junior guard-forward, added 12 points apiece and senior guard Dayne McBroom had 10 points.
Yukon had used a 17-3, 7:48 burst to open a 24-12 lead midway through the second quarter.
Mustang committed just six turnovers while forcing Yukon into 15 give-aways. The Broncos sank 14-of-15 free throws compared to 12-of-17 for the Millers.
“The crowd really got behind us,” Scott said. “They were really loud and never gave up on us. They stayed till the end.”