Norman North has faced — and overcome — more than its share of adversity this season. But the Timberwolves are now facing a different kind of challenge: bouncing back from a district loss that eliminated their stranglehold on District 6A-3.
With last week’s loss to Putnam City North (4-4, 4-1), the Timberwolves (5-3, 4-1) no longer control their own destiny in the district. And, unlike their last loss back in Week 3 to Westmoore, they didn’t play one of their better games. Quarterback John Kolar, who has been impressive since replacing injured starter David Cornwell a month ago, struggled for the first time against the Panthers, missing several open receivers in the first half and turning the ball over.
It’s a situation that makes today’s 7 p.m. game at Moore (1-7, 1-4) more challenging than it may look. The Lions have played better than their record this season, keeping several games against good teams tight until the game’s final minutes. The T-Wolves are also under pressure to try and win by at least 15 points in order to improve their district tiebreakers.
But there is one person who isn’t worried about how North will respond this week. That is coach Wade Standley, who said he’s confident that his team has handled last week’s disappointment in a productive manner. That includes Kolar, who is coming off his first loss.
“John’s going to be fine,” Standley said. “He’s got a great demeanor and doesn’t get too up or too down, which is a great trait to have.”
That approach has helped to keep the rest of the team on track, resulting in a good week of practice and a renewed focus among the T-Wolves to only worry about the things they can control.
“They’re only paying attention to what we can control,” Standley said. “They came back this week ready to practice and get better. It’s more important to play our best than anything else going on.”
Against the Lions, that will mean establishing consistency on offense and not falling behind early, something that North was unable to do last week. While the Timberwolves only have so much control over where they end up in the playoff race, Standley said they do have control over improving how they execute on offense and how they improve on covering their assignments on defense.
The Timberwolves may only be spectators to the other factors that determine whether or not they repeat as District 6A-3 champions, but there are several other key games being played. That includes a matchup between Putnam City North and Lawton Eisenhower and a showdown between Edmond North and Midwest City. With three teams tied atop the district and all three with a shot to win it, coaches and fans from Norman North are sure to keep an eye across the state.
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