By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — With its victory over then-No. 7 Edmond Memorial last week, Norman North earned the respect it was seeking. A one-point overtime loss to then-No. 5 Midwest City propelled the T-Wolves even further, all the way to a 9-2 record and the distinction of being ranked sixth in Class 6A.
Heading into this weekend’s tournament in Ada, where the T-Wolves will tip off at 1 p.m. against Stillwater, coach Jeff Blough is pleased with how far his team has come. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to work on.
“One of the things we need to do is get better movement in our motion offense,” he said. “We need to move better without the ball and set screens.”
Aside from that, the biggest thing Blough wants his team to gain from this weekend is confidence.
“We’re playing well,” he said. “We need to stay confident and keep doing what we’re doing, and keep doing it better.”
While Blough is more general, leading scorer Bri Kuestersteffen, who hit the game-tying free throws to send Monday’s game with Midwest City into overtime, isn’t mincing words.
“From this tournament we want to take away three wins and more confidence,” she said. “With how young our team is, we just want to get more games under our belts and more experience.”
NHS headed to Westmoore: While the NHS boys head to McGuinness, the girls will travel to Westmoore for the tournament weekend, where they will face Booker T. Washington at 1 p.m. today.
The most important thing for the Tigers this weekend may be how effectively leading scorer Taylor Ely is able to return to the lineup. After sitting out several games with a badly sprained ankle, coach Nichole Copeland hopes to get the junior some minutes this weekend.
“She may get some minutes on Thursday or Friday,” Copeland said. “She twisted it pretty good, so we want to be sure she’s completely over it first.”
Tournaments impact finals week: While all four Norman schools were busy preparing for the tournament weekend, Tigers and Timberwolves were also busy taking finals at school.
Finals week in the Norman Public School District comes in the first weeks back at school after the holiday break, rather than before Christmas. That means that players had to squeeze all of their finals into three days before leaving today for their respective tournaments.
“The most important thing is them taking their finals,” North coach Jeff Blough said. “That’s just something we have to keep in mind when we’re getting ready to play.”
NHS wrestlers finish fourth: After traveling to Salina, Kan. for a tournament last weekend, the Tigers came home with some encouraging results.
NHS took fourth as a team at the event, while two Tigers also took home individual titles. That includes Nigel Jolliffie, who took first at 106 pounds, and Colin Pasque, who did the same at 138. In addition, Cale Stumpff finished third at 195 pounds while Cade Parker did the same at 220. In all, eight Tigers placed at the 11-team tournament.
Strong start for Noble squads: Both basketball teams in Noble are off to a strong start, with the girls at 5-4 and the boys at 6-3.
It’s especially impressive for the boys, who are ranked No. 14 in Class 5A. They dropped Tuesday’s game to Guthrie by a point, but have just two losses to in-state teams. The Bears also own an impressive 53-51 overtime win over 5A’s 10th-ranked El Reno.
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