The Norman Transcript

November 7, 2013

Title within North’s reach

By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Norman North’s playoff possibilities are vast. The Timberwolves could finish anywhere from first to fourth in District 6A-3, depending on the outcome of tonight’s games.

But, while there are several outcomes possible, there’s only one that’s firmly in the Timberwolves’ control. And it’s one coach Wade Standley is happy with: Win today’s 7 p.m. home game against Lawton Eisenhower, and win the district.

“You always want to be able to control your own destiny,” he said. “And we’re able to do that. That’s the spot you want to be in. If we take care of our business we’ll get rewarded with a district championship.”

It’s a position that looked unlikely not long ago. After a disappointing loss to Putnam City North two weeks ago, the Timberwolves (6-3, 5-1) went from favorites to win the district to just another team in the hunt. But unexpected losses by Putnam City North (4-5, 4-2) and Edmond North (5-4, 4-2) have left the Timberwolves alone atop the district and in position to defend their title.

To do that, they’ll have to overcome Lawton Eisenhower (4-5, 3-3) a team that some wrote off a month ago but has surged late, winning its last two games by a combined score of 106-13. That includes a 47-7 drubbing of Putnam City North last week that gave the T-Wolves control of the district race but also gave Lawton Eisenhower a chance to make it to the playoffs if it can upset Norman North.

The Eagles don’t own a signature victory, but they’ve handled everyone below them in the district standings with ease before meeting Putnam City North last week and knocking off the Panthers in unexpected fashion. Turnovers and big plays were the Eagles’ best friends.

It’s a combination the Timberwolves will seek to avoid tonight by containing the Eagles in space and taking care of the ball.

“They’re very athletic and they have the ability to make big plays,” Standley said. “Defensively, we need to be able to contain and create turnovers. Offensively, we need to be able to execute what we do and limit our turnovers.”

With a win, the T-Wolves are guaranteed first place in the district. A loss makes things more murky, and North could finish anywhere in the top four. A loss also means the Timberwolves enter the playoff field in an unknown spot and could even draw a first-round matchup with No. 3 Lawton (9-0, 6-0).

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