MOORE — It was early in the third quarter and Jeff Blough, Norman North girls coach, had a thought.
“We look like a team,” he said, standing in front of the chairs that made up the Timberwolves’ bench, “that hasn’t played in 20 days.”
It was after the game he realized his math was off three days. It had actually been 17 days. Of course, the point was still made.
“It was just different getting back into the swing of things,” North junior guard Tia Williams said.
Perhaps it was for both teams, as North was able to endure its aesthetically displeasing exhibition victoriously, knocking off the Lions 45-36.
Blough gave plenty of credit to first-year Moore coach Rhonda Fields, who may not be putting a winner on the court just yet most nights, but has made the Lions competitive.
“They did a really good job of making it ugly,” Blough said. “They played a soft man-to-man. We didn’t react very well. We didn’t cut with a purpose and we didn’t screen well tonight. I thought we took too many 3s.”
North’s best quarter, strangely, was the first, when it posted an 18-9 edge behind eight of Williams’ 12 points.
North’s other leading scorer, Bri Kuestersteffen, was there at the end to ice the game at the free-throw line.
Kuestersteffen finished just 2-of-7 from the field, both of the makes 3-pointers and both in the first half, but it was her 6-of-6 free-throw performance after the half that kept Moore from ever getting within two possessions of the T-Wolves.
Kuestersteffen also felt North wasn’t itself.
“There were definitely a bunch of spots we can improve on,” she said. “We didn’t have much energy. I think it got better as the game went along.”