By Chuck Reherman
EDMOND – When it comes to playing on the road, one place Yukon has had very little luck of coming away with a win has been the Siberian Gym at Edmond North.
The Millers have seemingly always struggled shooting the ball in that arena.
That changed Tuesday night.
Yukon had their best night in years shooting in that gym and one of their best of the season on snapping a losing streak to the Huskies, 69-54 in a Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference game.
The Millers improved to 6-7 overall and 3-6 in COAC play with their first win over Edmond North in the past eight years.
Yukon ran off to a 15-point lead in the first half, but after seeing the Huskies put together a rally that tied the game YHS reeled off 16 straight points to put the game out of reach.
“This is definitely a hard place to play and Edmond North has a lot of young talented kids,” Miller head coach Kevin Ritter said. “They just didn’t shoot the ball very well and we made enough shots. If we could have made a few more shots inside early, it would have made it a little more comfortable for me and my blood pressure. But, we will take it.
“We talked about what we were going to do and how we were going to play after the Stillwater game, that as one of our worst games we have played in a while,” he added. “I was expecting to play well, I just didn’t know. They have been playing better the second semester.
“It was just we have been putting it together and putting it together and Desmon (Elliott) had a big game, he hasn’t played that well in a long time. That was a big key.
“If is motor is running, he is a big time help for us. I told him he has to build on it and he has to do it this weekend.”
North, trailing 28-17 late in the first half, hit a pair of shots to made it a six-point game at halftime. The Huskies hit the first two shots of the second half to make it a 28-27 game.
Tyler Dechant put back a rebounded shot to five YHS a three-point lead, but saw North use a trey from Landy Harris to tie the game 32-32 and then again at 34-34 on a shot from Dalante Shannon with 4:52 lead.
The Millers took over for good from there.
A driving shot from Caerson Lambakis put YHS back on top and Brayden Dutton followed with a trey from the corner (one of six he hit in the game) sparked a 16-0 run and a 50-34 lead with 35 seconds left in the frame. Dutton, who was six of seven from behind the arc, hit a second trey in that 16-point run.
“We made a little bit of an adjustment on defense on how we were guarding them,” Ritter said. “We were running a little bit of a different hybrid zone and then went to a man-to-man and try to stay with the Harris kid, because he was killing us from the outside.
“When we didn’t give up the fast breaks and they continued to miss and we could get a little bit of a lead, we could spread them out,” he added. “We went to a smaller line-up and that played into our hands.
“When you have a freshmen step up and hit six threes out of the corner, it spreads defenses a lot. That was another big, big play from Brayden. We have been waiting for this. He has been really rusty and it has been slowing coming. He knew he could score and it is amazing when you hit shots how easy this game becomes.”
Dutton hit his fifth trey of the game early in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 19, 55-36. His last trey turned into a four-point play and opened a 66-50 advantage to with two minutes remaining.
The Millers did run off to a 21-6 lead using their transition game. A Dutton trey made it 24-13 with two minutes left in the half.
Yukon had four players in double figures led by Dutton with 19 points, hitting. Price added 15 points, Elliott 13 and Lambakis 11. Austin Ruth chipped in seven points.
The Millers are playing today in the Otho Sweet Pea Curtis Tournament in Newcastle. YHS returns to COAC play on Friday, hosting Westmoore in a 7:45 p.m. tip-off.
By Chuck Reherman