The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Local Sports

December 20, 2013

Girls’ Clash a case of youth vs. experience

NORMAN — One is a team that a year ago, while young, made a run to the state tournament and returned everyone from its roster. The other is a team starting three freshmen who have never experienced a Crosstown Clash.

It’s a disparity in experience that sets up tonight’s Clash as a referendum on just how much experience matters.

Not that everyone believes any of that matters.

“We know how good they are, and we’ve seen them all play,” Norman North coach Jeff Blough said. “It’s just basketball, and that’s what matters. We have a lot of kids who’ve played in the state tournament and played in big games, but they do, too. We’ll see how it plays out.”

Still, nerves are likely to play a role, and it’s the Timberwolves who figure to be more prepared for the atmosphere.

“I’m not as nervous now that it’s my third year playing,” North junior Haley Woodard said. “We’ve matured from last year, and I think that will help us. But it’s High-North. It doesn’t matter who’s ranked higher or who is supposed to be the better team.”

North is the favorite on paper. The fourth-ranked Timberwolves (1-1) returned all of last year’s state quarterfinals squad and swept all three Crosstown Clash games a year ago.

On the other side, Norman High (0-2) brings a retooled roster that features seniors Chandler Coale and Taylor Ely, who set a new career high with 36 points in Tuesday’s loss to Edmond Memorial, alongside a bevy of young talent. Leading the way is freshman Bethany Franks, a force inside for the Tigers, along with Shelby Thrailkill, Jandra Levi, Brennan Hockett and Darieanna Hunter.

The young Tigers are winless in a high school season that has gone through its ups and downs thanks to weather-related delays, but they have been competitive in both contests. They held a late lead against Edmond Memorial and had a chance to win in regulation before falling in overtime.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • 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

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • T-Wolves take over late

    EDMOND — Had it ended the way it looked like it was going to end, Norman North boys coach Geo Claros was prepared not to be too upset. He liked the way his team was staying after it, even if he didn’t like how it continued a season-long ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder go all out against Pistons

    OKLAHOMA CITY —  Heading into the final game of the regular season, Oklahoma City coach didn't want to hear anything about a night off. With his team riding a two-game losing streak and fighting for playoff positioning, he treated it like a playoff game.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Clash tennis Timberwolves win girls’ Clash before boys’ dual ends in a draw

    And Crosstown Clash tennis dominance goes too … Norman North, sort of....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fuller Westmoore's Fuller signs with Oklahoma Christian

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Tripp Fuller was looking for a school that fit him. One where the Westmoore senior would feel at home at....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North nearer to filling coaching vacancies

    A host of coaching positions in Norman are open for next year....

    April 17, 2014

  • Injuries taking a toll on CCS girls squad

    If luck, like karma, is supposed to come back around, Community Christian’s girls soccer team has a lot to look forward to because, right now, they’re living the other side of the equation....

    April 16, 2014

  • Tigers suffer smashing loss to Stillwater in second meeting

    Monday’s game against Stillwater showed exactly how good Norman High can be when it’s playing well. The Tigers held a lead in that game over 21-1 Stillwater, and had a chance to win it before the Pioneers staged a late comeback....

    April 16, 2014