SKIATOOK — Tulsa Union turned up the pace on Norman North and the Lady Redskins set the tempo for a 44-40 win in the first round of the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament Thursday.
I’mani Davis led Union with 16 points while Brittany Hill added 12.
Tulsa Union (18-10) will play Bixby at 9 a.m. Friday in one semifinal. Bixby won two of three between the teams. Bixby won 41-40 in mid-December, Union won 66-35 in early February before Bixby won 57-46 in regionals.
Bixby was without star Stevi Parker in the second meeting, though.
“They took their time with us last time,” Union coach Jim Stacy said. “We didn’t handle it very well. We’re going to have to do the little things better.”
Norman North’s season ends 19-8.
The Timberwolves, with a rotation of all underclassmen, figure to have an excellent shot to return next year.
“This was a great season,” Norman North coach Jeff Blough said. “The kids worked hard all the way from KU team camp throughout the year.
“Being here this year will help us a lot. I’m sure their hearts were beating hard walking out of the locker room today.”
Union steadily built a lead that grew to 14 early in the fourth quarter, forcing turnovers and consistently pushing the ball up the floor.
Norman North made a run in the fourth quarter, scoring six consecutive points to pull within six, 34-28, but the Timberwolves couldn’t get any closer until the game’s final minute.
Bri Kuestersteffen’s 3-pointer at just under the minute mark made it a five-point game.
The Timberwolves pulled within four with the ball in the final 30 seconds but couldn’t cut the deficit any further.
Kuestersteffen led the Timberwolves with 14 points. Freshman Alexa Scott scored 10.