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December 15, 2013

Norman North cruises in Texas tournament

BURKBURNETT, Texas — As the two teams were warming up for Saturday’s Bulldog Classic championship game, Norman North boys assistant Patrick Schaeffer was asked if a good game appeared on tap.

He said it did.

He was wrong.

In front of a few parents and maybe no fans, the Timberwolves made a statement Saturday afternoon south of the border.

Already, Thursday, they’d handed Highland Park, Texas’ seventh-ranked Class 4A squad, its first loss. Two days later, it was time for home standing Burkburnett, Texas’ fifth-ranked Class 3A squad, and it was no good game at all.

Lindy Waters went for 15 points and 13 rebounds, Marcus Dickinson went for 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists and Trae Young went for 11 points, five rebounds and five assists.

And North’s starting backcourt — two sophomores and a freshman — combining for 45 points, 25 boards and nine assists were only the beginning.

How good this team could become in two years may be the stuff of dreams. How good it might become by the end of the season should land it nowhere short of the Class 6A state tournament.

A couple of scenes might be helpful.

———

The first quarter had ended, North led 18-15, Waters already had seven points and six rebounds, part of a performance that would eventually earn him tourney MVP honors, and the T-Wolves were huddled around their first-year coach, Bryan Merritt, who clearly won the lottery when tabbed to succeed Butch Roberts.

Merritt was slamming the floor with his right palm, seemingly furious, almost a little nuts. The T-Wolves weren’t doing this right and this right and this right and this right..

Two things about that.

By the half, North had given up just nine more points to a two a team that’s been scoring closer to 70 than 50 most of the season and led 38-24.

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