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December 22, 2013

Tigers’ Ely is adjusting

NORMAN — For the last several years, the playbook for defending Norman High’s Taylor Ely has been consistent: crowd her on the 3-point line and cut off easy driving lanes to the basket.

It’s a strategy that has at times been very effective against the sharpshooting senior. But it’s something Ely recognized and has worked over the last year to change, and the fruits of that work have begun to show themselves.

Against Norman North on Friday, Ely was unable to find many open shots, but she still found a way to score 15 points against the T-Wolves, mostly from driving through the defense or working for offensive rebounds. It’s a new dimension in her game that coach Nichole Copeland said has made her an even more dynamic player.

“When your best player is your hardest worker, that’s a great place to be,” Copeland said. “She’s not just a 3-point shooter anymore. She’s worked really hard to change that, and she’s done a great job.”

North defense stifles Clark: Norman High’s Cooper Clark is a dangerous slasher and an even more dangerous shooter. But Norman North showed on Friday exactly how committed to defense the Timberwolves have become in coach Bryan Merritt’s first season.

Hounded by several T-Wolves, including Lindy Waters and Marcus Dickinson, Clark was held scoreless until just six minutes remained in the contest. He showed how dangerous he could be by hitting several deep shots in a row and finishing with 11 points, but by that point the T-Wolves were comfortably in control of the game.

It’s a continuation of a trend for the T-Wolves, who have held opponents to fewer than 50 points a game this season.

Noble senior signs with Oklahoma Panhandle State: Noble’s Taylor Burzette enjoyed a successful senior season for the Bears, and will continue her volleyball career next season after signing with Oklahoma Panhandle State.

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