By Chuck Reherman
Season opening challenges.
That’s what lays in front of Yukon’s basketball teams tonight.
The Millerettes and Millers open the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference season on the road at Norman North. It will be the season opener for the Millers, while the Millerettes take a 2-0 record into the contest.
The Millerettes and Norman North tip-off at 6 p.m. and the Millers will follow at 7:45 p.m.
YHS has not had much success against Norman North by either team in past meetings and both the Millers and Millerettes will be looking to turn that around in this opening game.
The Millers finished pres-season work on Saturday with a scrimmage at Jenks that also included Collinsville and had an earlier scrimmage in the week at Bishop McGuinness.
“We will find out tonight if we are ready to start the season,” Miller head coach Kevin Ritter said. “It is always a good challenge for us. They have a pretty good guard, he played last year and he can get hot quickly. They have a lot of role players and like us they graduated a lot of players last year.
“It will be a good jumping off point before we go play in the tournament in Plainview on Thursday,” he said. “We have an idea of what they are going to do. They have a big kid inside, but they won’t run things through their post guy like they did last year. They will run a lot of the same things, but a lot of it is we have to stop the point guard Jay White.”
The Millers do have a good group with experience returning, but not much size to start the season with their starting post player (Zach Cantwell) out until January. The Millers will rely on the guard play of Carson Lambakis, Brayden Dutton and Dane Bouse, along with Colby Baker and Shannon Henthorne on the wing.
“We are running a little different things than we did last year,” he said. “We had more inside players last year and this year we don’t have many inside players and more perimeter players. We are running some things that match our personnel better.
“I’m sure Norman North will be ready for us,” he said. “Everyone gets film nowadays and I don’t think anyone will throw anything out there that neither one of us are ready for. It’s like a told the kids, practice is for the coaches and games are for the players and we need to go out and make plays.”
The Millerettes opened the season hosting a festival and came away with two wins, 84-2 over Oklahoma City Douglass and 60-34 over Oklahoma City Northwest Classen.
The Millerettes, though, will step up in class to face a Norman North team that is always solid.
“We know Norman North will have a good team, they were 6A runner-up last year,” Millerette coach Roy Wyckoff said. “They brought back a number of players that played in that state championship game, so we will have to get after it.
“We hope that playing those first two games have gotten us into our pre-game routine and worked out some things and that it is not something that is new,” he said. “It is going to be a tough one and we will see.
“We know we will have to play with incredible effort and pressure them and take them out of the things they execute really well, like their halfcourt sets. That will be our main focus.”