By Chuck Reherman
EDMOND – For 33 minutes, Yukon had Edmond North right where they wanted them.
In the final seven minutes, the Lady Huskies slipped through their fingers.
Edmond North went on an 8-0 run after YHS rallied to tie the game 38-38, and the Millerettes could not make up the difference, falling 60-48 in the opening round of the Region IV Tournament at Santa Fe.
The Millerettes ended their season with an 11-13 record.
Yukon, who lost by 23 to North earlier in the season, led the Lady Huskies by four points after one quarter and stayed within striking distance over the next two. But, the Millerettes couldn’t get the stops on defense when they needed them and North used their height advantage inside to take control of the game.
“I was really proud of the girls’ efforts,” YHS head coach Roy Wyckoff said. “They came out with a lot of energy, momentum and passion and I felt like they kept it basically the whole game. Down late were were down by five, but we couldn’t get a stop.
“Ewe missed a few blockouts and had some turnovers right in a row and they went bang, bang, bang and that was the end of it,” he added. “Against a good team down the stretch, those mistakes will beat you. As far as like 28 minutes of the game we played really, really well and then kind of fell apart in the last four minutes.
“You can’t do that against a good team like Edmond North. Props to them, they did a good job.”
The Millerettes trailed 38-35 early in the fourth quarter and Sunny Middleton hit a trey to tie the game. North then reeled off eight straight points and opened a 46-38 lead.
A trey from Sydney Brown cut that lead to five with 3:42 remaining. YHS made it a 48-43 game before Veronica Harjo connected on a trey to push the lead to eight, 51-43. After a Yukon turnover. North’s Raychael Harjo hit a shot in the lane, was fouled and added the free throw to open a 54-43 lead
An Ashlynn Basler trey did cut the lead to 56-48 with 1:11 remaining.
The Millerettes did come out with a little fire in the eyes to open the game. A field goal Basler and a Meya Case trey opened a 5-2 lerad. Jules Martin added a three-point play to send the Millerettes to a 14-10 lead with 12 seconds left in the opening frame.
North reeled off the first eight points of the second quarter to take an 18-14 lead. Basler hit a trey to cut the lead to 18-17, but a trey from Veronica Harjo pushed the lead to 21-17. North led 27-24 at the break.
Case connected on a trey to tie the game 22 seconds into the second half.
The Millerettes regained the lead 31-30 on a Middleton free throw and again 34-33 on a Basler trey. North regained the lead 36-34 and led by three, 38-35, late in the third.
Basler led the YHS scoring with 12, Martin added 11, Case eight, Middleton and Brown six and Kristen Readel five.
Raychael Harjo had 17 for Edmond North, Kamri Heath added 12 and Veronica Harjo 10.
“I wasn’t disappointed in my girls, I am really, really disappointed for them,” Wyckoff said. “We asked a lot of them, demanded a lot of them and they always gave it. So I was disappointed it didn’t pay off results wise on the court the way we wanted it to. It will pay off in the long run with character and things like that.
“I really wanted it for them, I wanted them to get to experience a playoff run,” he said. “I’m disappointed they didn’t get to experience that.”
By Chuck Reherman