MIDWEST CITY —
No matter how athletic the other team is, you can’t give up so many offensive rebounds. North might have led by 10 after the first quarter had it controlled the defensive glass. Do that and, who knows, maybe it’s Midwest Ciy that becomes undone.
Also, while Payton Prince has played some terrific basketball the last month, and has been a big part of the reason the T-Wolves entered the winners of eight straight, he fell into a big man’s bad habit Tuesday, leaving his feet with the ball looking for contact rather than two points. Do that and it’s easy to make only 1 of 5 shots, even when they’re all from the paint.
And, with your fastest player hurt, your most versatile player saddled with four fouls and one of your most athletic players unavailable, you still can’t lose your collective mind as the T-Wolves did over the last 10 minutes.
Yes, they were down only a point, 28-27, after 16 minutes, and yes, they proved to themselves and their coach they can play with the state’s second or third or fourth best team (for a half). But it may take more than that event to reach the Class 6A state tournament.
Because it’s not like Midwest City is even remotely disciplined or knows when or if it’s ever going to hit another free throw — the Bombers were 12 of 21 from the stripe Tuesday.
It has great athletes and it plays horrendously difficult and physical defense. Yet, given that, the Bombers are just the kind of team a team like the T-Wolves should give fits.
So, take what you want from it. What looked like a barometer game was exactly that, yet only if you go down Merritt’s path.
It was only a half, but how about that first quarter?