The Norman Transcript

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May 8, 2013

Timberwolves hold off Rams to earn state semifinal win, trip to title match

OWASSO — Just a few days after escaping with their playoff lives in a Crosstown Clash for the ages, the Norman North boys didn’t have to sweat victory nearly so much in the game to reach the game.

Tuesday night at Owasso Stadium, the Timberwolves were flat dominant for 40 minutes and strong enough to keep it together for another 40. By a 2-1 count, they’re back in the Class 6A title game looking for their second straight state championship and their third in four years.

At a location to be named later, they’ll meet Edmond North in a battle of west-side powers. The Huskies were better than Jenks on Tuesday, and that means Broken Arrow should no longer host the state championship game as it moves somewhere more accommodating to both T-Wolves and Huskies.

If North can play that game the way it played the first half Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine anything going wrong.

The T-Wolves (13-3) made it 1-0 when Ashton Bray served up a beauty of a 55-yard free kick for Mauro Cichero to head past Owasso goalkeeper Daniel Finkle 19:02 before the half.

“It’s been like that all season,” Cichero said. “Ashton has like 15 assists, it’s ridiculous. I think 10 of them are to me. We have a really good connection.”

About 15 minutes later, the connection was almost as strong between Garrett Gibbs and Cichero when Gibbs sent service into the Ram box and over all the traffic in front of the net. That left the ball near the end line a few yards from the post where Cichero corralled it and easily tucked it past Finkle.

Gibbs was part of another story as North coach Geo Claros had to shuffle his players to make up for the losses of senior defender Matt Gann, who’s out with mononucleosis, and midfielder Cole Johnson, who tore an ACL in the quarterfinal Clash.

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