Jim Ellis

MIAMI — Take away the first quarter and the last 3 minutes or so of the fourth and Miami might have come away with a very impressive early-season victory.

Instead, the Lady Wardogs suffered a 60-53 loss to Jay in the Verdigris Valley Conference opener for both.

“I am going to have to watch the film to get a good feel of what happened those last three or four minutes,” Miami coach JohnCarl Morgan said. “It really wasn’t that last three or four minutes that had the biggest bearing on the game. It was the first eight or nine when they beat us 21-9 in the first quarter.”

The Lady Wardogs, who trailed 32-24 at intermission, battled back to within three points (42-39) heading into the final stanza.

The rally culminated with a 6-2 surge that gave Miami its first lead of the night, 49-47, with 3:11 to play. Katie Osborn sandwiched a layup and a put-back around a jumper from the middle of the lane by Kylee Carder off a feed from Bekah Stewart.

However, the Lady Wardogs didn’t score again until the 48-second mark, when Makayla Vail downed a shot from the free throw line.

By then, Jay had opened up a 57-51 advantage and was able to hold on for the win.

“The kids kept battling and never hung their head, even when they went up by two,” Jay coach Terry Sweeney said. “We struggled on free throws early, especially in the first half, but when it was crunch time, the kids stepped up and knocked them down.”

The Lady Bulldogs converted on eight of 10 chances in the final three minutes.

“I was very pleased with a lot of things — we just have to convert those easy shots and not get ourselves in a hole,” Morgan said.

“We’ve got to continue to do things well, like rebounding.”

The Lady Wardogs held a 19-5 edge in offensive rebounds in the first half.

However, the Lady Wardogs shot only 29 percent from the field in the first half.

“We got good shots — we got open shots from all over,” Morgan said.

“The little put-backs would not fall. We’ve got to just keep encouraging them to keep shooting it.

“But for us to fight back from that and be up three late in the game, that was a heck of a performance.”

Osborn had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Lady Wardogs.

“She had another phenomenal game,” Morgan said. Osborn had 11 points and nine rebounds in last week’s season opening win against Rogers

(Ark.) Heritage.

Stewart added 13 points and 10 rebounds while Vail chipped in with 11 points and 11 boards.

Robertson scored a game-high 26 for the Lady Bulldogs. She had Jay’s first 10 points and 16 points in the first half.

“She is a scorer and she can go to the boards,” Sweeney said.

“She’s just got to get in better game shape.”

Robertson suffered a knee injury in a scrimmage last month against Preston and has just really got back into the flow.

“She had some big rebounds and some big buckets for us,” Sweeney said.

Miami is idle until Tuesday, when it faces Bristow at 4 p.m. in the first round of the Sperry Invitational.