NORMAN — Norman North is no longer winless and Highland Park, Texas is no longer undefeated after Thursday’s tournament-opening 64-61 win. The Timberwolves, played just their second game of the season after an overtime loss to Edmond Memorial last week before wintry weather kept them off the court for more than a week.
Highland Park, on the other hand, entered the game 9-0, and played like it. The two teams traded the lead back and forth the entire game, until North took control late to build a seven-point lead. Highland Park mounted a comeback, even having a shot at the buzzer to tie the game, but the Timberwolves held on to pick up the win at the Burkburnett, Texas tournament.
Payton Prince and Lindy Waters led the way with 18 points apiece, while Marcus Dickinson added 10. Coach Bryan Merritt, who picked up his first win at North, was pleased with the way his team played with just one practice under its belt this week.
“The team we beat, we won’t play but maybe three or four teams as good as them all year,” he said. “They’re a quality team and they were in midseason form. I’m really happy with our kids. Our effort was good, and we had a lot of fight.”
Sand Springs 70, Moore 64: Ashton Palmer was one of three players to score in double figures for Sand Springs in the Sandites’ first-round victory over Moore, the No. 1 seed, in the 2013 Tahlequah Tiger Invitational.
Palmer posted 16 points for Sand Springs, while Evan Perry added 14 for the Sandites. Josh Lattle chipped in with 12 points for Sand Springs, who will take on Tahlequah in the tournament semifinals today at 8:30.
Moore will face Enid in the consolation semifinals at 2:30.
Moore (0-2), which trailed 39-24 at halftime, was led by Dante Butler, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half. Jaylon Wilson (15) and Eric Blankenship (14) also tallied double figures for the Lions, who won the tournament title in Tahlequah last season.
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