CHOCTAW — Norman North dominated most of the stat sheet. The Timberwolves had more field goals than Edmond Santa Fe. They forced the Wolves into 25 turnovers while giving it away just 12 times themselves.
But it was second-ranked Edmond Santa Fe that ended up on the right side of the stat that mattered most, defeating North 64-47 in the area championship Thursday night in Choctaw.
An injury-depleted North clearly missed the rest of its regular rotation on Thursday. Playing without Tia Williams, an efficient offensive threat able to create her own shot and knock down open 3-pointers, North struggled to hit shots early. That allowed Edmond Santa Fe (23-1) to build a 29-16 halftime lead, and the Wolves extended it in the third quarter as North went cold, going the first four minutes of the half without a point.
And the injury situation only worsened before the tipoff, when Haley Woodard strained her hamstring. Though Woodard played the entire game, she did so at less than 100 percent.
Tamara Lee and Aahliyah Jackson led the way for Edmond Santa Fe, scoring 19 and 17 points to lead all scorers. Penetrating the paint and using their size to take advantage, the Wolves put several North players into early foul trouble, keeping Alexa Scott and Woodard on the bench for long stretches.
But North didn’t go away. The T-Wolves (17-6) cut it down to 12 points in the fourth quarter and had opportunities to get even closer. But they shot themselves in the foot at the free-throw line, making just five of their 18 attempts, easily their worst performance of the year. Edmond Santa Fe did the opposite, hitting 28 of its 35 shots at the stripe.
In a physical game in which baskets were hard to come by, that proved to be the difference, and one that sent Edmond Santa Fe to the state tournament and North into the area consolation final against Putnam City to try and find a way into state.