BELPRE - After having two games postponed last week due to team sickness, Miller showed no ill effects here Tuesday night as the Falcons got a double-double of 16 points and 19 boards from senior Skylar Hook in a 67-58 road win at Belpre.
The Falcons, now 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the Tri-Valley Conference's Hocking Division, watched a 22-point cushion early in the third quarter slip to a half dozen late in the fourth, but the visitors had just enough to turn back the Golden Eagles.
Belpre, still playing without the services of Ryan Leasure, received a game-high 23 points from Nick Therriault. The only other Golden Eagle in double figures was Dakota Hoffman, who tallied 14.
Belpre's Nick Therriault is fouled by Miller's Elijah Rader as he attempts a shot Tuesday. Miller defeated Belpre by a 67-58 score. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
A foul shot by Hook with 1:04 left in the opening stanza was followed by a steal and a layup by teammate Jake Walters as Miller took the lead for good and held a 16-13 cushion after one.
The Golden Eagles allowed eight offensive rebounds in the second quarter and Trent Abram canned a trio of 3-pointers and tallied 11 of his 15 markers in the period. Abram's trey from the left wing put the visitors ahead 38-26 with 1:17 left before halftime. Bryce Pittenger, who had nine points, eight boards and five steals, hit a free throw 18 seconds later, but Hook gave Miller a 40-27 advantage at intermission when he scored on the block for the final points of the half.
Thanks to a pair of Hook deuces sandwiched between a driving Hunter Starlin lay-in and a Starlin steal and layup just 2:07 into the third, it looked as though Belpre was out of it. Miller actually started the second half on a 9-0 run as a charity stripe toss by Elijah Rader, who had 12 points, five boards, four assists and as many steals, made it 49-27.
However, the Golden Eagles battled back and finished the quarter on a 12-4 spurt. Hoffman and Therriault had four points each in the run while Joey Byers and Justin Smith had two markers apiece to cut the deficit to 14.
Miller, which welcomes Waterford to town on Friday, led 59-44 with 5:02 left in the game, but the hosts continued to fight and the deficit was just seven at 60-53 with 2:12 to play following an Austin Forshey triple.
A Sam Petty assist to Pittenger for a lay-in closed things to 61-55 with 1:45 to go, but the Golden Eagles couldn't get any closer.
Starling added nine points for the Falcons, who also received a 6 of 6 effort from Traven Wood at the foul line.
Belpre (2-3, 2-2) will try and halt its two-game slide when Southern invades on Friday.