The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

March 8, 2013

Lawton Mac pulls away from Noble

SAPULPA — Before Thursday’s Class 5A quarterfinal game, Noble senior Jared Palmer said that he wanted to prove that they belonged on the state tournament stage.

Against No. 7 Lawton MacArthur, the Bears certainly did that. They took a 24-23 lead into halftime and kept pace for most of the game with the high-flying Highlanders. But a spate of turnovers in the second half proved to be the Bears’ undoing, as MacArthur pulled away for a 55-44 win, ending what Palmer had called the Bears’ “Cinderella” run to the state tournament.

Noble (14-14) had success in the first half penetrating the unforgiving Highlander press and turned it over just two times in the first quarter. But when MacArthur (18-8) stepped up the pressure in the second half the Bears were unable to duplicate that success, and they finished with 17 turnovers, most of which led to easy baskets for the Highlanders.

The game turned in the third quarter, when MacArthur upped the pressure and forced Noble into long passes. The Highlanders outscored the Bears 15-3 in the quarter, in the process using an 11-0 run to turn a 26-23 deficit into a commanding 34-26 lead. That margin grew to 17 points before Noble began to cut into it. The Bears got within 8 points in the final minute, but that was as close as they could get.

“Their defense was really good in the second half,” Noble coach Kenny Smith said. “We knew it was coming and we were as ready as we could be. They’re athletic, and you can only prepare so much with your own players running it. They cranked up their defense in the second half and we just didn’t have the guns.”

Devin Wheeler led Noble with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Leland Palmer added 13 for the Bears. MacArthur was led by Trace Cook, who finished with 17 points. Both teams found success at the free throw line, with Noble hitting 9 of its 12 attempts. But MacArthur was even better, missing just four of its 19 and closing the game out by hitting seven of its last eight.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014

  • Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • 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