NORMAN — Pick a storyline to follow and remember you heard it here first.
Nichole Copeland’s Norman High girls program is turning the corner and what it did Friday night at Norman North may have been more impressive than what it did Tuesday night against Edmond Memorial.
The Tigers didn’t take the Timberwolves to overtime as they did the Bulldogs, but if they hit their layups and free throws the first 31⁄2 quarters, it would have been North fouling NHS at the end of the game, trying to create possessions, trying to come back in the end.
Alas, it wasn’t.
That one ended 41-33.
But it was 30-27 for a couple minutes in the fourth quarter and 34-31 nearer the end and 36-31 when the Tigers missed four straight free throws. And nobody’s younger than Copeland’s Tigers.
Also, mark it down, the NHS boys are going to catch some teams by surprise. What they’re missing is a whole lot of top-line talent, but what they have is the deepest team you’ve ever seen a notch below that line. Really, the NHS boys could go win a Class 4A state championship right now.
They lost 65-43 and the game seemed more competitive than that, only it wasn’t because, well, it just wasn’t. Because the city’s best team is the North boys and it’s not that close.
We’ll get back to that.
The North girls probably go back to the state tournament.
The coaches, who rank them No. 4, seem to think so and the same group that made them competitive back when they were all kids two years ago — Bri Kuestersteffen, Haley Woodard, Paige Canty, Tia Williams, Julian Mougell — remain the heart of the team. And maybe this time they get out of the first round because, if you look at them, they don’t look like kids any more.