MOORE — Playing from behind the entire game, Moore finally cut the gap to just one possession in regulation. Then the Lions stole the ball from Norman High near midcourt and found Ashlie Rose under the basket for the game-tying shot that sent Friday’s contest into overtime.
That was all Amanda Patterson needed.
In the final home game of the senior’s career, Patterson took over the extra period. She secured the opening tipoff and drove straight through NHS’ Bethany Franks to lay the ball up in the extra period. That was just the beginning, as Patterson scored or assisted on 11 of Moore’s 13 overtime points as she led the Lions to the 71-63 upset of the 20th-ranked Tigers.
It was an overtime that almost never happened. NHS led by as many as eight points in the first half before Moore cut it to one point in the third quarter. But behind 28 points from Taylor Ely and 22 points and 13 rebounds from Bethany Franks, the Tigers built a five-point lead with three minutes remaining in the game, and led by four with a minute left.
But the Lions got a basket from Allison Rogers, two of her 19 points to go along with 16 rebounds, to get within one possession with 45 seconds left. They then forced NHS into a turnover near midcourt with 25 seconds left that led to Rose’s tying basket. The Tigers had a good look under the basket from Franks to win it at the end of regulation but couldn’t convert the layup, sending the game into overtime.
“We had success when Bethany posted up inside; they couldn’t stop her,” coach Nichole Copeland said. “When our guards took care of the ball and found her we did well. But when she pops out to the perimeter or our guards don’t look inside or don’t jump stop before passing the ball, we gave them an opportunity. And they made us pay.”
Especially near the end of the game. The Tigers turned it over 17 times in all, but none were more costly than the pair in the final two minutes. Along with an offensive rebound, the swings allowed Moore to stay in the game when NHS threatened to put it away.
Playing at home, Moore showed a much better effort than it did a month ago in the first meting between the two teams, a game that NHS won by 25 points.
In the Tigers’ last game before the playoffs open next week, Copeland said her team needs to commit to playing hard and valuing every possession in the game, something they’ve struggled with during the current five-game losing streak.
“As coaches I’m confident we’re going to have them in positions to be successful, but it’s up to them to do it,” she said. “I’m looking for a team that wants to come to practice every day and work as hard as I do. They have to trust me to give them a chance to be successful and trust us as coaches. They have to take the coaching and have as much passion as we do. If they do that it’s going to be a great game. If they don’t, their season is going to be over.”
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