NORMAN — If chemistry and being a good kid were everything, Oklahoma women’s basketball would have been to more than three Final Fours, that Norman High basketball team of Connor Madole, Will Saxon, Nate Long and Jacques Murray would not only have reached the state tournament but won it and, probably, this year’s Sooners wouldn’t have lost to Kansas State and Notre Dame.
Being chalked full of intangibles is not a fix-all. You can’t take it to the bank. On the other hand, it sure does help.
You can lose big with it, maybe, but you’ll almost never win big without it.
Consider that when you consider Norman North, at Tulsa Union on Friday night to meet Owasso in the first Class 6A state semifinal football game this town has seen since one high school became two.
The Timberwolves aren’t satisfied and still won’t be if and when they take down the Rams. But they have already won big.
Last Friday, they eliminated the University of Broken Arrow, the last two words of which will never have a North, South, East or West attached, at least not until that district smugly reaches 10,000 high school students (for which it is almost halfway there).
This Friday, North can go from winning big to winning bigger, from making history to making more of it.
The right group of guys are the ones making it happen.
“They’re absolutely an incredible group,” second-year North coach Wade Standley said. “I’ve never had a group like these young men, ever. And that encompasses a lot of things. Not only on the field, but character and heart and effort and attitude and all those things that you talk about as a coach.”
There are drawbacks.
They might not be the best quote, and when they talk about themselves they tend to sound like each other. And still, the thing about that? The more they win the more, together, they come out of their shell.