MOORE — The Norman North girls will not suffer another game like Saturday’s.
Not this season.
Perhaps not ever.
They couldn’t possibly.
The fifth-place game of the John Nobles Invitational Tournament at Moore High School, all of the following happened in the same contest, a 34-30 loss to Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington.
North’s Kennedy Cummings hit a challenged layup with 3:26 remaining in the second quarter. Fouled on the play, when went to the line for a single free throw.
It was North’s first free-throw attempt of the game. It was also it’s last.
Cummings finished the first half with 11 points and four rebounds, hitting 6 of 11 from the field. She finished the game with 11 points and four rebounds, hitting 6 of 11 from the field.
Her teammate, Fatima Black, finished the first half with six points and seven rebounds. She finished the game with six points and nine rebounds.
About the middle of the third quarter, North’s Hannah Fields scored off a Cummings’ steal and assist, putting the Timberwolves on top 28-21. North’s next two points, and its only additional two points, came almost 10 minutes later, a two-point basket near the rim from Shamica Smith with 1:56 remaining.
Through the first 4:08 of the fourth quarter, North suffered more turnovers (four) than it put shots up (one).
In the second half, the T-Wolves went 4 of 19 from the field and, as mentioned, did not attempt a free throw.
Hard to overcome all that.
“To me, that’s a sign of not being aggressive,” T-Wolves coach Rory Hamilton said. “Lack of free throw attempts, we always talk about, is a lack of aggression, a lack of getting to the basket and being intimidated.”
The Hornets were bigger and more athletic than the T-Wolves, yet the T-Wolves were clearly tougher the length of the first half. BTW actually made fewer field goals in the first half (three) than North made in the second (four), yet 7 of 12 free-throw shooting in the second quarter kept the Hornets afloat. At the break, it was North on top 22-14.
“We knew they were going to make a run,” Hamilton said. “It’s when they started to face guard Kennedy … other players need to step up in those situations. Somebody’s got to step up, make a basket, get to the [free-throw] line, get a rebound, do something.”
Black continued getting shots up, but went 0 for 6 after the half. Beyond Smith, Jordan Wright’s two field goals and Keely Hunt’s one, all in the third quarter, were it for North after the half.
The T-Wolves still held the lead until 1:56 remained. That’s when Shatayia Hill knocked down her third 3-pointer of the game, putting the Horntes up 31-30. Hill’s second 3 had forged the game’s first tie, 28-28, a couple minutes earlier.
Hill led all scorers with 16 points. Hayley Mitchell added eight points for the Hornets.
Smith joined Black with nine rebounds for the T-Wolves.
Tenth-ranked North fell to 6-4. Twelfth-ranked BTW improved to 7-5.
The T-Wolves don’t play again until Friday, when they visit Deer Creek. The next day, they’re scheduled to meet Norman High in the afternoon.
Win or lose, they’re unlikely to experience another contest like Saturday’s.
“We’ve got to find a way to score,” Hamilton said.