NORMAN — It’s hard for a roster to go much younger than Norman High’s. The Tigers started three freshmen Tuesday alongside seniors Taylor Ely and Chandler Coale and brought in two more off the bench.
The group showed exactly why coach Nichole Copeland is so excited about their potential, but also why having so many young players on the floor can be frustrating, in a 61-59 overtime loss to Edmond Memorial despite a career-high 36 points from Ely.
The Tigers experienced both the highs and the lows Tuesday. They built an early lead only to see a lack of rebounding put the Bulldogs back on top. But NHS stormed back to take a six-point lead with two points remaining ,only to see Edmond Memorial, with the help of several Tiger mistakes, come back to tie the game at the buzzer and send it to the overtime period, where the Tigers’ mistakes finally caught up to them.
NHS led 51-45 with two minutes left in regulation, only to commit a pair of key turnovers and allow the Bulldogs (3-2) to tie it at 51. It looked like the Tigers (0-2) might still escape with the win when Taylor Ely responded with a layup to put NHS on top with 10 seconds left, but on the inbounds play, Chelsea Kress found Avery Ogle under the basket for a game-tying basket as the buzzer sounded.
The Tigers were again in position to walk away with the win in the extra frame after Coale found Ely on a backdoor cut that led to a basket that tied the game at 59 and a free throw for the lead. But the foul shot fell short, and freshman Bethany Franks fouled Edmond Memorial’s Andee Decker, who hit two free throws with 5 seconds left to provide the 12th-ranked Bulldogs the winning