MOORE — Southmoore coach Britney Kannady-Sayes knew it wouldn’t be pretty. When her third-ranked Southmoore girls basketball team hosted No. 4 Norman North, she figured the game wouldn’t come down to technique and jump shots.
Kannady-Sayes was right, as the SaberCats held off the Timberwolves for a 55-47 victory at Southmoore High.
“You know the number that’s on your back,” Kannady-Sayes said. “You can’t not tell the kids. They know the number that’s on their back. All that does is bring motivation. Maybe a little bit of pressure. In those type of ball games, it’s not going to come down to who plays the best or shoots the best. It’s going to come down to the loose balls and rebounds. The ones who are going to dig out and play with heart.”
Early on Southmoore tried to get the ball into the hands of Serithia Hawkins and Kyeria Hannah in the paint. Even though the Timberwolves surrounded the duo, they found a way to get buckets seemingly at will.
They helped stake the Cats to a 32-26 halftime lead.
“We have a lot of work to do,” North coach Jeff Blough said. “We gave up way too many offensive rebounds. They are crazy big and crazy athletic. In the first half, that hurt us a lot.”
Southmoore began the third period on a 7-1 run behind Hannah. The 6-0 junior began to assert herself in the post and the Timberwolves had no answer for her length or touch around the basket.
North’s backcourt of Haley Woodward and Bri Kuestersteffen was ineffective much of the night. But in the fourth Kuestersteffen and Tia Williams led the T-Wolves on a run to get within six points with 1:30 left.
But that would be as close as the Timberwolves would get. Despite numerous chances, North just couldn’t knock down the shots it needed late in the game.