By Chuck Reherman
MOORE – The fourth quarter in recent games has not been kind to Yukon.
It worked in the Millers favor Tuesday night.
Yukon hit key shots down the stretch to pull away from Westmoore and end a four game losing skid, 61-53, in a Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference game at Westmoore.
The Millers 10-8, after trailing early in the game came back to take a 41-39 lead going into the fourth quarter and opened an eight-point lead that YHS would not relinquish.
“Any win in a good win,” Miller head coach Kevin Ritter said. “I told the guys I know what your plan was, we have been getting big leads and then losing, so lets give them a big lead and come back and win. I said that was fine and it worked tonight, but let’s don’t ever let than happen again.
“I think the afternoon time kind of threw us off, there were no JV games and we came out and were not doing things efficiently,” he said. ‘We had eight turnovers in the first quarter and that kills you and gives them a chance. We stopped the for four minutes and we couldn’t score either. It was 0-0 at that time and we had our chances and defensively we had a break down so we have to get back in and work on the defense.”
The Millers trailed 29-22 starting the second half and used two field goals from Carson Lambakis and one from Justice Reister to cut the lead to 31-28. A Reister trey tied the game 33-33 with 3:55 left. Reister hit a second trey to tie the game again at 36-36.
A third Reister trey gave the Millers their first lead 39-36 with 1:11 left. Zac Cantwell hit a shot that gave the Millers a 41-39 going into the fourth quarter.
Two Jaelyn Newman steals and lay-ups gave the Millers their biggest lead, 45-39 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
Reister hit two field goals in the lane and a trey from Brayden Dutton opened a 52-44 lead with 4:25 remaining. Westmoore got within six, but Reister hit two more shots in the lane that opened a 58-48 lead with 1:48 remaining.
“We didn’t tell them a whole lot, we are in that part of the season that they generally know what they are doing,” Ritter said. “It was talking to them about defensive attitude and effort and we are not putting the effort into it. We were literally playing five on three on defense because we had two guys going through the motions so we talked about the attitude and effort.
“Offensively we talked about getting to the basket,” he said. “They (Westmoore) are not blessed with having a lot of big guys and we need to get to the basket. In the second half, we got more layups and more shots in the paint, got us backed tied and made some shots that got us the lead.”
The Millers did get off to a rocky start and after a scoreless first four minutes, Westmoore used treys from Quinten Harrison and David Owusu to open a 6-2 lead. The Jaguars led 15-7 after one quarter.
Reister led the Miller scoring with 25 points, hitting 10 of 15 shots from the floor (four of six behind the arc) and one of two free throws. Colby Baker added 11 points, Dutton added nine and Dayne McBroom four.
The Millers go back on the road Tuesday at Southmoore and then Friday to Stillwater. Both gaves have a 7:45 p.m. tip-off time.
By Chuck Reherman