The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 27, 2012

Most coaches prefer practice to playing over holiday break

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“I would bring some people in,” Copeland said. “Do some scrimmaging (with other teams) and things like that.”

Instead, the Tigers will be at the Ardmore Holiday Festival beginning Friday morning. Originally scheduled to begin today, weather has pushed the brackets back 24 hours, and every team will play two games Friday.

The NHS girls meet Putnam City West at 11 a.m. Friday at Ardmore Middle School. Should they beat the Patriots, they’d play their second-round game at 4:20 p.m. the same day at Ardmore High School.

Thornton, whose Tigers boys meet Putnam City North at 3:30 p.m. today at Del City, echoes many of Copeland’s thoughts.

“To be honest, I’ve never really been a big fan of (holiday tournaments),” he said. “Like this year, we’ll play 11 games before January and you feel like that’s the bulk of your season. I’d rather play the bulk of my season in January.”

Thorton’s past teams, he said, have used the extra practice time to make real improvement.

“Teams I’ve had in the past,” he said, “That’s really where we’ve gelled the most.”

North boys coach Butch Roberts is staking out a middle ground but remains closer to Thornton and Copeland’s view than Blough’s.

“I spent a solid month trying to find a tournament the first week in December,” he said.

Had Roberts found one, the North boys wouldn’t be joining the NHS girls in Ardmore, where they’ll meet Carl Albert at 1:40 p.m. Friday at Ardmore Middle School. Still, after not finding an early December tourney, Roberts sought out a holiday tourney. He would rather play every game he’s allowed than get his holiday practice time back.

Also, after last week’s Crosstown Clash, a loss to NHS, Roberts isn’t minding the schedule quite so much.

“I probably would be more on the negative side if I didn’t think getting back on the game court wasn’t as important after (last) Thursday night,” he said. “We need to wash that taste our of our mouths.”

Clay HorningFollow me @clayhorningcfhorning@normantranscript.com

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