By Chuck Reherman
MUSTANG – Chances. Yukon had theirs in the closing seconds.
Things just didn’t fall the Millers way.
Yukon missed a pair of shots in the final 40 seconds and Mustang held on to pull off a 66-64 Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference win over the Millers in Bedlam on the Court I, Tuesday night in Mustang.
The Millers held a three-point lead with five minutes remaining, saw that melt away to a three-point deficit, then cut the lead back to one and had the shot they wanted for the win.
Down 66-64 with five seconds remaining, Carson Price had a look from the corner, that just bounced off the rim. Mustang rebounded, but missed the free throw and Yukon was able to get away a 38-foot shot that came up short at the buzzer.
“We got a look, but we get a look can’t knock it down, just the way it seems to go,” Miller head coach Kevin Ritter said. “Carson had a good shot at it down two and if he hits that we are going to win the game. We had to have the shot to win, but that is how it goes in basketball sometimes.
“There was an ebb and flow to the game, they made runs, we made runs,” he said. “I was proud of our guys for countering there and coming back and getting the lead. We had the lead going into the fourth quarter and couldn’t hold it long enough.
“It was a disappointing loss, I am proud of them, but things just didn’t go our way.”
The Millers did have a one-point lead, 54-53, opening the fourth quarter and trey from Price opened the YHS lead to four, 57-53.
Mustang hit back to back shots to tie the game 57-57, but a Sanford Arnett trey put the Millers back on top, 60-57, with 5:59 remaining.
A pair of Price free throws pushed the lead to 62-59, but the Broncos used a Zalek Sharp field goal and two from DeShawn Franklin that put MHS in front 65-62.
Price hit a baseline shot to bring the Millers within one, 65-64 with 32 seconds remaining. The Millers fouled Sharp, who hit one of two free throws with 20.9 seconds remaining and gave YHS a chance to tie or win the game.
After a time out, the Millers worked for a shot and Price got an open baseline three-point shot. The ball skipped off the rim, Mustang rebounded and YHS quickly fouled.
Franklin missed the front end of the one-and-one with 4.2 seconds remaining and the Millers rebounded. YHS rushed the ball down the floor and Price’s desperation heave came up short as the buzzer went off.
The game was a series of runs by both teams. The Millers opened with the first six points. leading 8-4, the Millers saw Mustang go on an 8-0 run to take a 12-8 lead.
A Carvell McKinley field goal and a trey from Karsten Berg put the Millers back in front, 13-12. Mustang reeled off six straight points to open a 19-13 lead with nine seconds left in the quarter.
Mustang hit a pair of treys that sparked a 12-0 run and gave the Broncos a 31-17 lead. But, just when it looked like MHS was going to take control of the game, the Millers came back with a 9-0 run on two Price field goals and a trey from Arnett to cut the lead to 31-26.
Mustang pushed the lead to seven, 35-28, but the Millers got a rebounded shot from McKinley and a bucket from Clanton with 4.8 seconds left to cut the lead to 35-32 at the half.
Yukon trailed by as many as seven in the third quarter, but, a trey and a baseline jumper from Price and a Berg trey rallied the Millers to the one-point lead.
Price led the Miller scoring with 18 points, McKinley 14, Berg 13, Arnett nine and Clanton eight.
The Millers dropped another heartbreaker four days earlier as Stillwater made the most of their fourth quarter free throws to hand YHS a 64-60 COAC loss in Stillwater.
The Millers led 41-40 going into the fourth quarter, but used treys from Price and Berg to key an 8-4 run and a 49-44 lead. Stillwater came back to close the lead to 51-50. A third Price trey gave the Millers a 54-50 lead.
Stillwater made a run, took the lead, then finished the game hitting nine of 10 free throws in the closing minute to pull off the win. The Pioneers shot 18 free throws in the fourth and connected on 12 of them.
Stillwater took the early lead of treys from Brooks Ford and Alec Noftsger. A McKinley shot late in the quarter cut the lead to 12-7.
Berg hit a pair of buckets and a trey to key a 17-13 run and cut the SHS lead to 25-24 at half. Berg had two treys in the third to give YHS a 41-40 lead.
Berg and Price had 19 each to lead YHS.