Luckily for Noble, that’s something the Bears have proven they can do.
If Noble can beat Skiatook (10-13) in today’s 8 p.m. game at Sapulpa, the Bears will face the loser of Tulsa Edison and Coweta, Class 5A’s fifth- and sixth-ranked teams, respectively, for a shot at the state tournament.
While Noble hasn’t played either team, the Bears have proven this season that they have what it takes to upset some of Class 5A’s top teams. Noble defeated No. 10 El Reno 53-51 in overtime early in the season, and repeated the feat with a 44-42 win over El Reno in January’s Anadarko tournament. The Bears also upset eighth-ranked Piedmont 50-45 three weeks ago.
For the Bears to make the state tournament, they’ll need one more upset.
Fatigue a factor for NHS? When Norman High last met Southmoore on Jan. 29, coach Nichole Copeland opted to keep her starters in for almost the entire game. In fact, the only substitution of the game came when Bethany Cox picked up her fourth foul in the fourth quarter.
While the strategy was largely effective for NHS, which was down just a point before Cox’s fourth foul but went on to lose 56-43.
The downside was that by the end of the game the Tigers who played appeared exhausted. It’s a risk Copeland will have to manage if she opts for a similar strategy when the two teams meet today at Choctaw.
“That game I felt like we couldn’t really afford to sub much,” she said. “Our legs may have been a little tired by the end, and it’s something to manage.”