Millers top McGuinness for 7th in Classic

Earns win over former coach


By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – OKLAHOMA CITY – Yukon faced their former coach for the first time as the Millers were looking to come away with at least one win in the 58th McGuinness Classic.
And, the Millers got that win.
Carson Price poured in a career high 24 points to spark the Millers to a 71-56 win over host McGuinness in the seventh place game.
The Millers, 3-7, will have on more chance to win a tournament title. YHS travels to Newcastle to compete in the ‘Sweet Pea” Invitational beginning Thursday.
“We got one win,” Miller coach Kevin Ritter said. “The first game was good, we got way down against Norman North and battled back. We were down three with two minutes to go and just couldn’t catch up.
“The second game, we couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” he said. “We played a lot better the third game and hopefully we can start to make a move. It doesn’t get any easier for us but hopefully we can gain some momentum from the win.
“It was fun to play against Scott (former YHS head coach Raper) in the tournament. We just wished it wasn’t in the seventh place game.”
The Millers led McGuinness 34-24 starting the second half and used the scoring of Price and Karsten Berg to take control of the game. Price hit a pair of treys and three more shots in the lane that keyed the 17-8 run and a 51-34 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The Millers opened a 20-point lead in the opening two minute of the fourth quarter. McGuinness made a run that cut the lead to 12.
Price, Berg and Michael Clanton hit shots that pushed the lead to 15 and put the game away.
YHS did get off to a fast start in the game, opening a 20-11 first quarter lead and took the 34-24 margin into the locker room at halftime.
“We made some shots and McGuinness didn’t hit shots, that’s the way basketball goes,” Ritter said. “McGuinness may have been tired from a long game the day before, but we did play better and hit shots, that made the difference.”
Price scored his 24 points on 10 of 13 shots from the floor (three of five behind the arc) and one of three at the line. He was named to the All-Tournament team.
Berg finished his night with 14 points, Clanton had nine, Austin Olea five and Joe Feemster and Carvell McKinley four each.
In the consolation round, the Millers faced Deer Creek for the second time in four days. YHS had beaten the Antlers in the first meeting, but couldn’t get their shots to fall in the second and fell 54-39.
The Millers did make a run in the fourth quarter after trailing by 12, 43-31m entering the final eight minutes. YHS chipped into the lead, but the Antlers answered with treys, then put the game out of reach at the free throw line.
The game was close early, Yukon trailed 110-10 after the first eight minutes. Deer Creek went on a 17-6 scoring run in the second quarter and openbed a 28-16 halftime lead.
Price led the Miller scoring with 11, Clanton added 10, Jacob Moore had seven and Tyler Dechant six.
The Millers faced Norman North for the second time in a tournament and for the second time, came up on the short end to the No. 6 ranked Timberwolves, 75-69.
YHS trailed 45-26 starting the second half and made a run at the T-Wolves. Two treys from Berg and buckets from Moore, Clanton and Austin Olea chipped in field goals to trim the lead to 58-46.
The Millefrs contnued to chip away at the lead, but could get no closer than 12.
Berg led the scoring with 14, Moore, Clanton and Olea all had 11, Dechant nine and Price eight.
The Millers will travel to No. 3 ranked Edmond Santa Fe on Tuesday.
“That’s all we play, single digit ranked teams in 6A,” Ritter mused. “Santa Fe is very athletic. I actually voted them No. 1 in the first rankings.”
Yukon will play Elgin in the opening round at 11:30 a.m. A win would put the Millers against the winner of Blanchard and Ada at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
The championship round begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with the seventh place game.
The fifth place at 2:30 p.m., the third place game at 2:30 p.m. and the championship game at 8:30 p.m.
The Millers are the defending champions of the tournament.