The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Local Sports

February 2, 2014

T-Wolves can’t be too physical in late push

NORMAN — With six games left on the schedule, Norman North coach Bryan Merritt is trying to shape his team to make a late-season push into the postseason. A major part of that strategy involves the pressure man-to-man defense the Timberwolves play, a defense that has forced opposing teams into numerous turnovers and fast-break opportunities for ninth-ranked North.

The one problem with that plan is that it also results in a higher than average number of fouls on the T-Wolves, and a higher than average number of free throws for their opponents.

It was an issue that reared its head again on Friday in North’s 63-52 victory over Del City. While the T-Wolves led the entire game and dominated the Eagles on the floor, Del City owned the free throw line. The Eagles shot 28 free throws to North’s 15, and made 20 of those while North made only 10. It was a 10-point differential that kept the game close in the final minutes and gave the Eagles an opportunity to pull the upset.

“If you look just at field goals made, it wasn’t even close,” said Merritt, whose team made 26 field goals to Del City’s 15. “The one thing we need to work on is cutting out some of the fouls.”

If North is to make the run to the state tournament the T-Wolves are hoping for, they’ll either need to avoid the foul trouble they’ve encountered at times this season, or they’ll have to continue to build depth. When point guard Marcus Dickinson has been out with foul trouble this year, the T-Wolves have been a decidedly worse team. His absence shifts the ball-handling duties to freshman Trae Young, moving him out of his natural position at shooting guard and eliminating some of the explosiveness the North offense possesses when Dickinson is at point and Young is standing ready on the wings.

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