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Joanna McFarland finishes a chapter in life after OU loss to Tennessee

“It's always sad at the end of something,” McFarland said, explaining her emotions. “This is just the end of a part of my life. This team means so much to me that it was really sad. But I'm looking forward to the future.”
by Berry Tramel Published: March 31, 2013

“She's a perfectionist. She's a kid that wants to make 100 on every test. She wants to make every single basket that she shoots. Early on in her career, she beat herself up every time that didn't happen.

“She figured out how to not do that anymore. And how to be OK with striving and enjoy the success and not be so bent on perfection. And that's hard. For kids wound that way, that's a really hard thing to do.”

McFarland played basketball in the same vein in which she matured. Coale, channeling the old English teacher from Norman High School days, says Robert Frost said it best. The best way out is always through, Frost wrote. “She just went through,” Coale said. “Wasn't always pretty, wasn't always easy. But she got to the other side.”

That's the way McFarland played these last few weeks, when the Sooners salvaged what appeared to be a cursed season. She fought for rebounds when she couldn't jump for them. She scrapped for loose balls when possessions didn't come easy. She stepped outside for jump shots when she couldn't jump over the athletic marvels that often were assigned to defend her.

“Jo taught me how to be tough,” said OU sophomore Sharene Campbell. “Crash, rebound, want the ball.”

Want to is a lot of basketball. But it's not all, which is why Tennessee is moving on in the tournament and McFarland is moving on with what promises to be a successful life.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at


by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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