MOORE — Norman High faced an uphill battle Tuesday night at Westmoore. The Jaguars entered the game playing at home and with a substantial size advantage with Callie Palmer and Kaci Richardson.
That hill became even steeper when the Tigers came out cold. They missed every 3-pointer they shot in the first quarter and didn’t hit one until just before halftime. But the biggest factor in the Tigers’ 59-42 loss to Westmoore may have been the foul trouble that Bethany Franks couldn’t seem to escape.
Franks picked up her third foul midway through the second quarter with NHS down seven points and was forced to sit out the rest of the quarter and much of the second half. Playing without their strongest inside presence and scoring threat, the undersized Tigers couldn’t keep up with the Jaguars in what turned into a physical and at times contentious game. The two teams combined to shoot 56 free throws and commit nearly 50 fouls in the course of the contest.
It was a bruising style that favored the more physical Jaguars (5-6), who dominated the paint from the start. Palmer finished the game with 18 points while also creating shots for her teammates when NHS would double down on the block. Richardson added nine points, five rebounds and five blocks in the effort.
“We let the officiating get in our heads,” coach Nichole Copeland said. “That’s the first time we’ve been in that situation this season. I’ve got to do a better job of keeping our kids focused. It’s a lesson learned, and we’ll get better from it.”
NHS (3-9) kept the game close early before the foul trouble began to catch up to the Tigers. They trailed just 11-8 after one quarter, but with Franks on the bench with foul trouble, the Jaguars went on a 13-3 run that put them in control of the game.