By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman North doesn’t seem to know there is a winter storm taking place. When it took the court Saturday against No. 17 Southmoore, the 10th ranked Timberwolves were on fire from the opening tip as they routed the SaberCats 86-61 at North Gym.
“They are a good team,” Southmoore coach Wes Brown said of North. “They shoot the ball extremely well. They shoot the ball as well as anybody in the state, I promise you. They are a real good team. They are one of the top teams in the state the way they shoot the ball.”
The game was originally scheduled to have been played Friday, but was postponed due to the weather. The extra day didn’t slow down North.
The T-Wolves sprinted out to a quick 15-6 lead before Southmoore went on an 8-0 run to close within a point.
But Malcolm Carter gave the Timberwolves a 20-16 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Defensively, in the first quarter, we really weren’t playing the way we normally do,” North coach Bryan Merritt said. “We are usually a pretty good defensive team. We gave them a lot of easy shots.”
Each time the SaberCats made a run or looked like they make take the lead, Garrett Pearson rained down a 3-pointer to settle the contest down.
The Timberwolves began to pull away and took a 45-32 lead into halftime.
Southmoore began settling for 3-pointers as North closed down the paint. With their shots not falling, North stretched its advantage to 20 points heading into the fourth.
Conversely, the Timberwolves’ ability to hit from behind the arc destroyed the SaberCats’ defensive scheme. Pearson, Lindey Waters, Trae Young and Marcus Dickinson can all knock down 3-pointers and drive to the rim, which put the ’Cats in a defensive quandary. As a team, North made 10-of-19 3-point range.
Dickinson paved the way 19 points and Waters added 16. Payton Prince chipped in with 13.
“It makes us real tough,” Merritt said. “When we are shooting the ball well, we can play with anybody in the state.”
No. 10 Norman North girls 49, Southmoore 34: Southmoore jumped out to a 25-11 lead in the first half behind Alyssa Jones and Kyeria Hannah. But the Timberwolves ended the half on a 7-0 run to close Southmoore’s advantage to 25-18.
North slowly crept back into the game by picking up its defensive pressure and scoring in the paint. They trailed 30-26 to start the final period.
Bri Kuestersteffen hit a jumper in the middle of the lane with 5:51 left to tie the contest at 30-30. Alexa Scott then scored back to back baskets to put T-Wolves ahead by four.
The SaberCats fell apart down the stretch while the T-Wolves made every shot they needed to and attacked the boards.
North outscored Southmoore 23-4 in the fourth quarter.
Kuestersteffen led the T-Wolves with 21 points. Scott added 11, all in the second half.
Hannah paced Southmoore with 13 points. No other played reached double digits in scoring.
The Cats hope to get some reinforcement next week. Junior forward Serithia Hawkins is expected to be in the lineup Friday when Southmoore takes on Edmond Memorial. The team has lost 9 of 11 games since she went down with an elbow injury .
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