NORMAN — Strong performances in holiday tournaments have several area teams moving up in the rankings entering the second half of the season.
The Norman North girls lead the way at No. 4 after winning the invitation-only Tournament of Champions in Tulsa during the break. North (5-1) defeated three top-five teams, including Class 3A’s No. 1 Adair, to win the tournament. Westmoore is ranked No. 3 in the poll.
The North boys have also moved up, to No. 9, after winning a tournament in Texas before the holidays. The Timberwolves (5-1) are posting wins behind a strong defensive effort, allowing fewer than 50 points per game.
Washington is also moving up in the rankings. The boys (5-1) are ranked No. 7 in Class 3A, while the girls are undefeated at 6-0 and ranked No. 6.
In other sports, the North boys’ swim team is ranked tops in the state, while Norman High is No. 6. The Timberwolves’ wrestling squad is ranked seventh on the back of a 3-0 record in duals.
Loaded field at McGuinness: The Bishop McGuinness Classic that both NHS and North will travel to on Thursday is one of the state’s longest-running basketball tournaments, and again it’s a strong field the Tigers and Timberwolves will face.
In addition to the ninth-ranked T-Wolves, also included is Class 5A’s 11th-ranked Deer Creek and No. 16 Guthrie. The Tigers open the tournament at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Edmond North, while the Timberwolves will play at 3:30 p.m. Thursday against Guthrie.
NHS to double games played: One of the common themes of the NHS boys’ season has been a lack of games to play. Due to weather and their schedule the Tigers entered the holiday break having played just three games, a rarity among teams across the state.
That will change this week, as the Tigers travel to the Bishop McGuinness tournament for three games in three days that will give them a chance to finally put in practice what they’ve spent weeks working on in the gym. Coach Matt Thornton said the best thing his inexperienced team can do is play games, and the tournament will be their first chance to do so.