NORMAN — Eighth-ranked Norman North was dealt some harsh news this week. Senior center Julian Mougell, the Timberwolves’ sixth man and shot-blocking threat, is likely out for the rest of the season with torn ligaments in her ankle.
It’s an injury that is expected to sideline Mougell for six weeks, opening the door for a possible return in the state tournament should the T-Wolves make it that far, though there’s no guarantee she would be able to take the floor then even if North makes it there.
With Mougell out, the T-Wolves are hamstrung inside. While Alexa Scott is a skilled center, the lack of depth at the position leaves North in a situation where it’s forced to go with small lineups and move junior Haley Woodard to the four position, rather than her natural spot at the three, or small forward.
“We’ll miss her inside and her ability to rebound,” coach Jeff Blough said. “We have to go with a small lineup more often.”
Bri Kuestersteffen and Sam Landreth are also out for North. Neither will play tonight against Del City, though both hope to return next week.
Tigers picking up steam: The narrative for Norman High all season has been that the Tigers would steadily improve as the season went on and the three freshmen they start would begin to figure things out.
In the past week, the Tigers have begun to see some of those goals realized. They’re 3-1 in their last four games, with the only loss coming to No. 6 Bartlesville. Included in that stretch are wins over No. 15 Putnam City, Class 5A’s No. 14 Del City and Class 2A’s top-ranked Millwood.
More importantly, the Tigers have for the most part managed the end of those games well. Several of those contests were one-possession games in the final minute, and the Tigers found a way to win.