NORMAN — Three days after Norman North freshman Trae Young played the worst game of his young career in a loss to Moore, he turned in the best game of it on Friday.
But, as good as Young and the rest of the Timberwolves were at times on Friday, third-ranked Midwest City was better, and squeaked out a 76-73 overtime win over the Timberwolves.
Despite heroics on both sides — Midwest City’s Torey Noel and North’s Kairo Rutledge both hit two game-tying free throws in the final seconds regulation — it was the Bombers who hung on in overtime to walk away with the victory over No. 9 North.
Young did all he could. Shrugging off a horrendous shooting night on Tuesday, the freshman came out firing from the start against the Bombers. He hit his first shot just 10 seconds into the contest and quickly followed that up with a no-look pass to Lindy Waters for a layup and then another deep 3.
It was just the beginning to a hot Timberwolves’ run that put them in control early. Thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers and layups, the T-Wolves jumped out to a 26-14 lead in the first quarter.
And it was just the start for Young, who hit his first six 3s as North built a 38-21 lead in the second quarter. Young finished with 23 points and made seven 3-pointers.
“Sometimes with freshmen, it’s a process, and as a coach I’m loyal to my guys,” coach Bryan Merritt said. “T.Y. bounced back from Tuesday and shot really well tonight, and that’s the real him. We all believe in him, and he came out ready to shoot tonight.”
But the Bombers would fight back. Spurred by a high-pressure fullcourt trap, Midwest City forced North into a string of turnovers and turned them into easy baskets. The Bombers cut the lead to eight points at halftime, and quickly eliminated that deficit in the second half’s opening minutes with an 8-0 run to tie the game.