CATOOSA — On paper, there isn't much to differentiate between the Edmond Memorial and Norman girls basketball teams.
It had been displayed in two prior meetings with each team taking home a victory.
But there's one thing that can't be found in a box score, and it's where the Norman girls excel: state tournament experience.
Down the stretch is where it mattered most as Norman pulled out a 40-34 victory against Edmond Memorial in a Class 6A girls quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at Catoosa High.
The Tigers advance to Friday's semifinal at 7:30 p.m.
While it was Memorial's first trip in six years, it is Norman's seventh trip in a row. The cast of characters changes, but the results remain the same.
"Coach (Matilda) Mossman always tells us to not let past mistakes linger into the present," junior Olivia Meek said. "We stayed calm and played our game."
In Memorial's victory against Norman, the Tigers blew a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter Thursday, it took just over two minutes for an eight-point lead to vanish.
But that's where Meek stepped in. She averages five points per game but scored a team-high 11 points.
With the game tied 30-30, it was Meek who scored and got fouled to give Norman a 33-30 lead it would never relinquish.
"There are some nerves, but it's not because you doubt yourself. It's because you want to fight so hard for all the girls that are out there with you," Meek said.
Memorial sophomore Alie Decker scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, while Norman star Kamra King notched nine of her 10 points in the second half.
"This was just another great Memorial-Norman game," Memorial coach Shane Coffey said. "I'm proud of how hard we fought."
The Bulldogs end season at 16-10.High school basketball tournament coverage sponsored by United Supermarkets.