NORMAN — The last time Norman High faced off against fourth-ranked Southmoore, the season opener for both squads, the Tigers managed to put up just 27 points in an ugly loss.
On Tuesday, NHS (8-10) had nearly reached that mark by halftime in an inspired effort that was likely the best game the Tigers have played all year and brought them within sight of a huge upset.
But what had been a back-and-forth game changed in the third quarter when Bethany Cox picked up her fourth foul, and Southmoore (15-3) used an 11-0 run to pull away for a 56-43 victory.
“Our goal tonight was for Southmoore to know when they left the building that they had been in a battle,” coach Nichole Copeland said. “And now they know that. Our girls played with more fire and passion than they have all year.”
That group included just six players since Copeland made just one substitution in the entire game, coming when Erica Mitchell relieved Bethany Cox in the third quarter. The five starters — Chandler Coale, Albany Anderson, Taylor Ely, Lexi Seburg and Cox — barely rested and were clearly exhausted by the end.
“They gave me everything they had tonight,” Copeland said. “I was really proud of their effort.”
Midwest City boys 54, Norman North 37: For just a moment, the thought-to-be-unimaginable appeared possible. Seven straight points put Norman North within 35-30 of No. 1 Midwest City (18-0) with most of the third quarter still remaining. Then, just as fast, the Bombers’ quickness took right back over and a spate of North turnovers helped produce a 10-2 end-of-quarter Bomber run and a 14-point Timberwolves deficit.
North was never any closer the rest of the game.
Lindy Waters led the T-Wolves (9-9) with eight points. Marcus Dickinson, Najji Brown and Tye Neubauer each finished with seven points.