By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — When Norman North squares off for a two-game series with Westmoore on Monday and Tuesday, there will be plenty on the line for the Timberwolves.
The most important thing at stake is the district title, which North is in position to capture. With it would come the opportunity to host a regional, something the T-Wolves have worked toward all season.
It’s a similar situation to a year ago, when North found itself in command of the district race only to collapse late in the season. The Timberwolves took a huge step toward avoiding that same fate on Tuesday when they responded to a loss to Edmond Memorial with an 11-1 road victory over the Bulldogs.
Many of North’s starters this year were on that team last year, which fell to an early playoff exit after losing its last several regular-season games. While last year is still on their minds, it’s a fate this team seems built to avoid.
“They’ve turned the corner and learned from last year’s mistakes,” coach Brian Aylor said. “To come out and play one of our best games against Edmond Memorial (on Tuesday), that was a big-statement win for this ballclub.”
While the T-Wolves will compete in the Deer Creek tournament this weekend, Aylor said they’ll be looking forward to Monday’s game against Westmoore, a team that split games with NHS this week.
“We’ve got two district games to play, and we control our own fate,” he said. “I think this group has learned a lot from last year and isn’t going to repeat those mistakes.”
Tigers battling injuries: Norman High moved back to .500 on the season with a come-from-behind victory over Westmoore on Tuesday. It’s an accomplishment coach Pete Sangirardi is proud of for a team that has faced its share of adversity this season.
The Tigers played most of the preseason without Sangirardi, who was away for medical reasons. And now they’re competing without a full lineup.
With several players already banged up, the Tigers lost Paul Reed and Matt Foster this week to injuries, and they don’t know when they’ll return to full strength. That fact made Tuesday’s victory over Westmoore even more important.
“We had kind of a different group because we’ve had to fill some holes,” Sangirardi said. “But they’ve done a good job filling in where they need to.”
Track regionals coming to Norman: Regional assignments for tennis and track have been announced, and Norman North was awarded the hosting duties for one of the four track regionals on May 4.
NHS is also in the same region, which will be hosted at Harve Collins Field.
“As far as the boys go it’s pretty fair, but the way it worked out for the girls it’s extremely difficult,” North coach Mike Ramsey said. “It’s a tough region for everyone.”
The top three finishers per region from each event automatically qualify for the state tournament, while the next best four from across all other finishers also can qualify for state in a wild card system.
Tennis regional assignments announced: Tennis regional assignments also have been released, and both NHS and North will have some traveling to do.
On the girls’ side, NHS is headed to the Oklahoma City Tennis Center for the May 6 event, while North will travel to Shadow Mountain Tennis Club in Tulsa.
The Norman High boys will join the North girls there, while the North boys also will be in Oklahoma City.
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