By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
HARRAH — Alexa Scott wasn’t receiving a warm welcome to the final rounds of the Class 6A playoffs. The Norman North freshman was frustrated inside, playing through foul trouble and scoreless with 17 seconds left in the game.
That was when Scott hit the biggest shot of her young career, a deep three that tied the area championship at 37. It was her only field goal of the game but the shot would eventually send the game into overtime where, thanks to some timely baskets and perfect free throw shooting, North pulled away to a 50-43 win that sends the Timberwolves to the Class 6A state tournament.
“I knew they wouldn’t expect me to shoot it,” Scott said. “But I just felt it, and I knew as soon as it left my fingers it was going in.”
It did, and when Edmond Memorial’s Jenny Roy missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer it was on to overtime, where North played with more energy from the tip. Haley Woodard, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds, converted a steal into an easy layup on the first possession of the extra period.
That opened the floodgates for North, which scored the first five points in overtime to pull ahead 42-37. The T-Wolves then hit nine straight free throws to secure the win.
North junior Bri Kuestersteffen led the T-Wolves with 17 points and five rebounds despite being hounded from the start by the Bulldogs. After being held scoreless in the second half she stepped to the line in overtime and hit six straight free throws to ice the game.
“They were face-guarding me the entire second half,” Kuestersteffen said. “That’s fine with me. I was a facilitator for our team and we proved we can win that way too.”
It was a win that for much of the second half looked like it would belong to Edmond Memorial. After playing from behind for much of the first half, the Bulldogs took the lead at 23-22 with four minutes left in the third quarter and stretched it to 35-31 with just under two minutes left.
That wasn’t enough as North, which finished 19 for 21 at the charity stripe, hit three free throws to put itself in position for Scott’s big shot.
“This is an unbelievable group,” coach Jeff Blough said. “They are so tough. It came down to who made the last shot, and tonight it was Alexa with that three for us.”
The victory was North’s fourth of the season over Edmond Memorial, and it came in a physical, drawn-out contest in which both teams took hard hits and struggled with foul trouble. Edmond Memorial’s Andee Decker was one of those who spent the game in foul trouble, and finished with just five points. Roy led the Bulldogs with 13 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
Next up for North is a state quarterfinal game on Thursday against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
“We’ve been working toward this all season,” Scott said. “Just the experience of being in state my freshman year is so exciting.”
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