The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

February 13, 2014

Ready for the pressure

NORMAN — The biggest story out of Norman High this season has been the collection of freshmen coach Nichole Copeland has put together. In all, five play regular minutes and three start every game.

With such a young group, many games hinge on their ability to rise to the occasion and handle the pressure. What gets lost in that narrative is that there is one player who has proven every game that she’s up to the pressure.

That would be senior leader Taylor Ely, who proved again in Tuesday’s Crosstown Clash that she’s an elite player and - more importantly to her coach - an elite leader.

“Taylor was the only one who really came out ready to play tonight,” Copeland said after the Clash, a game where NHS cut Norman North’s lead to two points before watching the Timberwolves pull away. “She was focused from the tip, and she tried to bring her teammates along with her.”

Tuesday’s game proved once again how far Ely has come in her time at NHS. She’s started games since her sophomore year, when she was a pinpoint shooter but not much else. That worked well when she was just another option on a team with several of them. But as other Tigers graduated and Ely rose to the forefront, opposing defenses were able to put their best defender on her, harass her at the three-point line and limit her offense.

That’s no longer the case. North used defensive specialist Sam Landreth to guard Ely throughout the game, and while she did slow, Ely she was unable to completely stop her. Ely finished with 17 points and five rebounds, with nine of those come on 3-pointers.

But it was the way the rest of those points came that showcased her development as a player: from the free-throw line.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Grizzlies will let Russ shoot

    During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper. Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Tigers, T-Wolves set for showdown

    For many teams in Norman, the Crosstown Clash is the biggest date on their schedule. It’s the game that can make or break the season. The one that determines bragging rights, and the one that the players are most concerned about....

    April 24, 2014

  • North playing for big picture, NHS fighting for a better place at the table

    While the focus for the next two days will be on the Crosstown Clash, there's also an important postseason race taking place for Norman High and Norman North's baseball teams....

    April 24, 2014

  • Koonce seals OT win for NHS

    Norman High soccer coach Tyler Hardage said it this way: “It’s fun when stuff like that happens.” So it was....

    April 23, 2014

  • NHS boys put on a clinic, while North squads top U.S. Grant

    The Norman High boys continue to play terrific defense and did again Tuesday night, posting their fourth straight shutout, their fifth in sixth games and their seventh of the season. But if that’s vintage Tigers, the other side of NHS’ ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Memphis bears down on Oklahoma City

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Memphis wanted to play its game. After allowing Oklahoma CIty to pour in 100 points in Game 1, they knew they had to take some steam out of the Thunder if they stood a chance of coming away with a win on the road....

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Looking forward to the playoffs

    The road to the title is shifting into high gear. Postseason assignments for several sports were released this week by the OSSAA, and a number of area teams now know the path they’ll take in the playoffs. In softball, Norman High and ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder not interested in excuses, just taking care of business

    Russell Westbrook tried to take all the blame. After Oklahoma watched a 25 point lead dwindle to two points against Memphis, the talented point guard said it was due to his erratic play in the third quarter. “It’s on me, man. I’ve got to ...

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder withstand Grizz charge to take Game 1

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Style points don’t matter in the NBA playoffs. It’s all about getting wins and moving on. So, despite watching a huge lead dwindle down to a single basket, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks is pleased his team was able to ...

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder set to take on unlikely rival in Memphis

    It’s become an unlikely rivalry. There is no reason for Oklahoma City and Memphis to have an ongoing feud, except that they do and the numbers seem to bear it out....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo