SKIATOOK — Edmond Santa Fe came out like a team with something to prove Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Class 6A boys state tournament at Skiatook’s Gary Johnson Activities Center.
The Wolves didn’t dominate Norman North in a 52-48 win, but there was never much doubt for Santa Fe.
“We executed what we wanted to do,” Santa Fe’s Michael Onuocha said. “We got a little worried there toward the end, and our coach got a little mad, but we never panicked.”
No. 1 Santa Fe (23-4) will play the winner of this afternoon’s game between Putnam City and Jenks at 9 a.m. Friday at the Mabee Center in Tulsa.
Norman North’s season ends 18-9.
Santa Fe split with Putnam City in two meetings and beat Jenks once.
“In this tournament, it doesn’t matter who you play, you’ve got to come out with that intensity,” Onuocha said. “I don’t think that’ll be an issue for us.”
The Wolves entered the playoffs as the favorites in 6A, but a loss to Midwest City in the area finals put that status into question.
But Santa Fe took control from the beginning, never trailing and steadily building a lead throughout the first half with a balanced attack.
But against North, Edmond Santa Fe led from wire-to-wire, scoring the last six points of the half to go into the break up 25-15.
After the break, though, the Wolves couldn’t stretch the lead, though, as Norman North steadily ate into the Wolves’ advantage.
Norman North cut it as close as four in the final minute but could not come closer.
By the end, Mahlon Jones led the Wolves with 15. Onuocha, coming off the bench, had 12 on 5 of 6 shooting.
Dalton Mitchell led Norman North with 16, hitting four 3-pointers. Patrick Schaefer scored 12 to lead the Timberwolves.
Santa Fe shot 53 percent (19 of 36) from the field, while Norman North shot just 39 percent.
High school basketball tournament coverage sponsored by United Supermarkets.