“We’ve got to keep our hands up on those two when they have the ball and not give them any easy looks,” he said. “It’s about doing the fundamentals; blocking out, closing out on the shooters and keeping a body on the cutters.”
The other factor that may play a role is that of experience. While North has a few players — namely junior Bri Kuestersteffen and sophomore Haley Woodard — back from last year’s Clash, the rest of the roster is new to the rivalry game. NHS, on the other hand, returns most of last year’s team.
“Last year is definitely in the back of our minds, but we’re not dwelling on it,” Kuestersteffen said. “We want to start a new tradition this year.”
Possibly balancing the equation is that, while the Tigers have the more experienced group, the Timberwolves will have the home crowd behind them. It’s hard to predict how teams will respond in a hostile environment, but Copeland hopes to turn into a positive.
“There’s different ways the crowd can affect you,” she said. “The atmosphere will definitely be a factor, and that’s what makes these things fun. But I think our girls can use it as motivation.”
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com