NORMAN — Norman High knows the uphill battle it’s facing. The Tigers will travel to No. 7 Edmond Santa Fe for an 8 p.m. game tonight in the regional playoffs opener.
NHS (4-18) has faced an uphill battle all season and has remained competitive despite the losses piling up. Coach Matt Thornton is proud of the way his team has refused to give up on the season, and it’s that attitude he believes gives them a chance against Edmond Santa Fe (17-5).
“We know what we’re facing, but there’s some things we think we can do to give ourselves a chance,” he said. “They are a good team, but we’ve shown we can play with good teams. We just need to get everybody clicking at the same time. If we can do that, we’ll have a shot.”
Williams out for season: The running narrative at Norman North this season has been how the Timberwolves have dealt with injuries. Heading into tonight’s playoff opener, it’s a story that won’t go away.
Tia Williams, the team’s sixth man averaging about 10 points a game, is out for the season after fracturing her hip last week. It’s a devastating injury to a North team that has been riddled with them this season, including one to Julian Mougell that has severely limited the senior for the past several weeks.
“That’s a big blow to us to lose her,” Blough said of Williams. “And Julian is trying to play through it, but she’s having trouble getting up and down the court like she needs to.”
They aren’t the only T-Wolves who have dealt with injuries this season. Bri Kuestersteffen and Sam Landreth have both missed time this season, as has Paige Canty.
“It’s been a really weird season, because we’ve never really had a full team,” Kuestersteffen said. “When I was out and since I came back I’ve just tried to focus on being there for my team, and bringing that vocal leadership onto the court.”
Tigers confident ahead of playoff matchup: Norman High struggled through a tough regular season a year ago before being matched up with heavy favorite Midwest City in the playoffs. Few gave the Tigers a chance in that game, but coach Nichole Copeland’s squad pulled off the upset.
Ahead of tonight’s 6:30 p.m. contest against Southmoore at Edmond Santa Fe, it’s an accomplishment the Tigers hope to duplicate.
“We’re going to have a good game plan,” Copeland said. “We’ve seen them a few times already this year, and we’ll be ready for them.”
North-Westmoore rematch on tap: Norman North will take on Westmoore at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Mustang in what will be the two teams’ third meeting of the season.
North has owned both prior contests, winning by a combined 59 points. But Westmoore is a dangerous team that has shown it can upset higher-ranked teams, including a 68-61 victory over a Moore squad that defeated North earlier in the season.
The winner of the contest will advance to face either Mustang or Putnam City in the regional final.
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