By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — All the Norman North girls had to do Thursday night was win. Instead, they dominated, at least until coach Jeff Blough unloaded his bench.
So, in a game that wasn’t remotely as close as the final score — 60-45 — the Timberwolves easily moved past Edmond North to meet Lawton Eisenhower in a Class 6A regional championship game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday back inside the North Gym.
“We attacked,” Blough said. “That’s what I liked.”
Especially in the second quarter.
North built its lead over the game’s first 4 minutes, getting back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from Alexis Scott (two of them) and Hayley Woodard. But a cold spell left the lead at just 13-4 after 8 minutes.
That didn’t last long.
The T-Wolves began the second quarter on a 15-3 run, pushing their edge to 28-7 and the Huskies were never again in the game … even though they would post separate 10-0 and 11-0 second-half runs against the North bench to forge the final score.
For a while, everybody seemed to be making shots but North’s most frequent leading scorer, Bri Kuestersteffen, who was 2 of 9 from the field for five points at the half. Still, it wasn’t like she didn’t have plenty to do with the T-Wolves' advantage.
“I knew Alexa, Hayley and other people were hitting shots,” she said, “so I just tried to give the ball to them.”
What that amounted to, on the first night of Kuestersteffen’s fourth and final roundball postseason, was her very first double-double: 16 points and 10 assists.
“She’s an amazing player,” said Blough, whose team moved to 16-5.
And, while she distributed, others did their jobs, too.
Woodard played within herself throughout, canned 7 of 12 shots and finished with 15 points. Scott hit all three of her 3-point attempts (and missed all four of her 2-point attempts) to exit with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.
By the half, North led 32-14 and, with about 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Blough went away from the eight- or nine-player rotation he tends to employ, the Timberwolves had pushed their edge all the way to 58-20.
The Huskies, who fell to a season-ending 5-18 with the loss, picked up 10 point from Kendall Burge and nine and seven rebounds from Sloan Hendley.
Edmond North’s biggest run, as long as Blough played his regular rotation, was 3-0 late in the second quarter. In addition to the 15-3 second-quarter run North put together, the T-Wolves added an 18-4 run in the third.
“I loved our ball movement, our transition was great,” Blough said. “I thought our defense was good for the most part.”
Woodard liked the way her team didn’t simply survive on elimination Thursday, but thrived, pretty much from the opening tip.
“I think it prepares us for the rest of our games,” she said. “You don’t want to come out and have a slow win.”
It clearly wasn’t that.
Lawton Eisenhower girls 54, Mustang 48: The two-headed monster of Crystal Polk and Nikki Smith were too much for Mustang to handle Thursday night at the North Gym, where they led the Eagles past Mustang on the opening night of the Class 6A playoffs.
The two combined for 34 points and managed to keep Ike slightly in front of the Broncos throughout.
The Eagles led 19-11 after a quarter, 29-27 at the half and 43-37 after three quarters.
Addy Lawson led Mustang with 15 points. Brook Irwin added 10.
Follow me @clayhorning
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