The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

December 2, 2013

Prep basketball preview

NORMAN — After a run to the state tournament a year ago, expectations are high for the Norman North girls. The Timberwolves are ranked fourth in the state and return everyone from a year ago. Tonight’s opening-night game is a showdown with ninth-ranked Edmond Memorial, a team that emerged as a bitter rival to North a season ago as the two teams met four times.

But the injury bug has taken some luster off the matchup. Seniors Bri Kuestersteffen and Julian Mougell have both missed time in the last month with concussions, while junior Paige Canty sprained her ankle and sophomore Alexa Scott is battling illness. Mougell and Canty are both considered gametime decisions for tonight’s 6:15 p.m. opener.

While it may not be an ideal start for the Timberwolves, there have been some benefits, namely increased playing time for the rest of the roster. Coach Jeff Blough said that one of the Timberwolves’ weaknesses a year ago was a tendency to stand around too much while Kuestersteffen and junior Haley Woodard would shoot the ball and penetrate the lane. With her out of the lineup, the rest of the team was forced to become more active, a development that Blough expects will pay off down the road.

“It’s helped us in that sense,” he said. “At times we’ve been able to go small with Haley playing the five. It’s really helped some of the other girls like Aspen Knight and Sarah Tomlinson to step up and become more comfortable.”

Tigers’ strength lies in chemistry: Coach Matt Thornton is entering his second year at the helm at Norman High, and he’s looking forward to having something that he said is rare in teams.

“This team has really good chemistry, and there’s no jealousy,” he said. “That’s not always something you get. I think kids are buying in and understand what we’re trying to teach. They play really well together.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHS at Midwest City 6 Point guard taking on a new role in Tigers’ summer basketball league

    It’s a summer of change for Norman High basketball....

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU dominates in preseason, receiving 47 of 56 first-place votes in early poll

    Oklahoma will start the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thunder V Denver Thunder add guard Morrow in deliberate, selective free agency

    Oklahoma City hasn’t been the busiest place during the NBA free agency period. However, it may have been among the pickiest. The Thunder officially signed free agent guard Anthony Morrow to a contract Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound ...

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OGA at Trails 8 No rest for Reid during another championship

    James Reid says he plays better when he’s played a lot of golf in a short time. After a four-day trip to Ireland last week in which he played eight rounds of golf, he arrived back in Oklahoma City at midnight on Sunday. Nine hours later, ...

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo