The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Local Sports

January 17, 2014

Norman North awaits pair of top-10 opponents when Midwest City visits

NORMAN — One of the constants in Class 6A basketball for the last several years has been Midwest City. The Bombers are consistently good on both the boys’ and girls’ sides, and have become a mainstay in the state tournament and title games. The Bombers’ high-pressure, all the time, strategy has frustrated opponents for years and forced them into game-changing mistakes, and this year’s teams are no different.

Norman North is a recent riser, with the girls advancing to the state tournament a year ago and the boys’ team much improved this season.

The two sides will clash tonight, when Midwest City’s third-ranked girls’ team meets the fourth-ranked Timberwolves and the third-ranked boys’ team clashes with No. 8 North.

“It’s Midwest City, you know what you’re going to get,” North boys’ coach Bryan Merritt said. “They’re going to pressure you the entire game, and they’re going to alleviate the big man by not letting you set up and they’re going to take coaching out of it. If your coach is drawing up a play you’re already down. The players just have to handle the pressure and make plays.”

The key to finding success against Midwest City is in managing the pressure. The Bombers line up with full-court, man-to-man and use it to run a series of traps to create turnovers and find easy baskets. Opponents who spend too much time dribbling or moving sideways against the pressure find themselves turning the ball over, while those who have found success against the Bombers attack the pressure.

“The only way you beat pressure is to hit it in the mouth,” Merritt said. “You have to make them pay for it every time.”

For Merritt’s 7-3 squad, that burden will fall onto guards Lindy Waters, Trae Young, and Marcus Dickinson, who had a breakout scoring game with 24 first-half points against Moore on Tuesday. The Bombers (11-1) have strengths inside and outside, but Merritt said his team can create odd-numbered breaks if they can handle the pressure in the backcourt.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Grizzlies Thunder Basketball Thunder withstand Grizz charge to take Game 1

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Style points don’t matter in the NBA playoffs. It’s all about getting wins and moving on. So, despite watching a huge lead dwindle down to a single basket, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks is pleased his team was able to ...

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder set to take on unlikely rival in Memphis

    It’s become an unlikely rivalry. There is no reason for Oklahoma City and Memphis to have an ongoing feud, except that they do and the numbers seem to bear it out....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • T-Wolves take over late

    EDMOND — Had it ended the way it looked like it was going to end, Norman North boys coach Geo Claros was prepared not to be too upset. He liked the way his team was staying after it, even if he didn’t like how it continued a season-long ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder go all out against Pistons

    OKLAHOMA CITY —  Heading into the final game of the regular season, Oklahoma City coach didn't want to hear anything about a night off. With his team riding a two-game losing streak and fighting for playoff positioning, he treated it like a playoff game.
     

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Clash tennis Timberwolves win girls’ Clash before boys’ dual ends in a draw

    And Crosstown Clash tennis dominance goes too … Norman North, sort of....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fuller Westmoore's Fuller signs with Oklahoma Christian

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Tripp Fuller was looking for a school that fit him. One where the Westmoore senior would feel at home at....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North nearer to filling coaching vacancies

    A host of coaching positions in Norman are open for next year....

    April 17, 2014

  • Injuries taking a toll on CCS girls squad

    If luck, like karma, is supposed to come back around, Community Christian’s girls soccer team has a lot to look forward to because, right now, they’re living the other side of the equation....

    April 16, 2014