By Chuck Reherman
EDMOND – The last two weeks of the regular season has been dubbed ‘revenge week’ for Yukon.
The Millers have made good on two of the last three games so far.
No. 19 ranked Yukon hit key shots down the stretch and pulled out a 55-50 overtime win over Edmond Deer Creek in a Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference game Tuesday night at Deer Creek.
The Millers, 12-10, had lost to Deer Creek 64-57 back on Jan. 14 on the Millers’ home court, but returned the favor on Tuesday night. The win comes after the Millers had rallied to beat Stillwater last Friday night on the Pioneers’ home court 53-52 after SHS had beaten the Millers in Yukon.
The Millers had one more game on their revenge tour, that game was played late Friday on their home court against Mustang in the second of two Bedlam on the Court match-ups.
The win over Deer Creek was more than just a revenge win from an early loss. The Antlers had beaten the Millers the last seven outings (including three times in the past previous two years and two of those times in the playoffs).
The Millers snapped those two streaks, but it didn’t come easy. YHS led late in the game, but saw Deer Creek rally and eventually sent the game to overtime where the Millers finally took over.
“We cannot make these things easy, they made my blood pressure rise, but we will take it,” Miller head coach Kevin Ritter said. “It was another good win for us. We talked about it being a little bit of a revenge tour because we have three games against teams that beat us the first time and we have three chances to get a little bit of revenge and that it two of two. We will enjoy this and go out and get one from Mustang.
“We played better defense tonight,” he said. “We weren’t doing well on offense and it wasn’t that we were doing everything poorly, we were doing a lot of good things, but the finish of the really good thing was not good. We would make the right pass get the shot and then miss the lay-up. We would make a steal would dribble through everyone and make the pass we would shoot one forced and weren’t doing the things to make it show on the scoreboard.
“At halftime I told them I wasn’t upset with them, I was happy more with the first half than we were at Stillwater and we were ahead. It was a lot of not being able to finish them, but the second half we finished making plays, got ahead and then beat them in overtime.”
The Millers trailed 45-42 when Brayden Dutton hit a trey with 1:38 remaining to tie the game 45-45. Deer Creek worked the clock, but turned the ball over with 57 seconds remaining. Yukon then worked the clock down, but missed a shot at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Shannon Henthorn’s shot in the lane gave the Millers a 48-46 lead with 3:03 remaining and another Dutton trey opened a 51-47 lead.
Free throws from Dayne McBroom and Carson Lambakis opened a 53-50 lead with 21 seconds remaining and on Lambakis’ second shot, Justus Reister grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
He hit both his free throws to open a 55-50 lead with 20 seconds remaining. Deer Creek missed a shot and the Millers rebounded with eight seconds left that sealed the win.
“The good news is maybe we learned from the last game,” Ritter said. “We like to foul when we don’t need to foul, but we found enough of a way against a Deer Creek team that is not bad this year. They have beaten some good teams, so I am happy to get away with the win.
“We are getting closer,” he said. “We just need to get better on defense. We were better tonight. For these guys to do something in the playoffs and it has to be on the defensive end. We have some guys that can score if we get the right shots we can hit them. We didn’t score as many tonight because we didn’t hit open shots. We missed open shots that we normally make.”
The Millers hit 43 percent of their shots from the floor, connecting on 19 of 44 attempts (six of 18 from the three-point line). YHS was 11 of 22 at the free throw line.
Lambakis led the scoring with 16, Reister and Dutton had 11 each, McBroom eight and Henthorn six.