At halftime of Friday's Crosstown Clash against Norman, Norman North, coach Jeff Blough wasn't happy with the defense his team was playing.
“We meant to trap them in the first half, but we didn't quite get it done,” Blough said.
The Class 6A No. 8 Timberwolves figured it out in the second half, pulling out a 56-43 win in their final game before beginning the playoffs against Lawton on Thursday.
Several times, Norman North looked like it was about to put the game away.
The Timberwolves led by nine in the first quarter before Norman clawed back to tie it by halftime, then took several one-point leads in the third.
Norman North once again built a nine-point lead early in the fourth before the Tigers quickly cut it to three.
But every time Norman got back into the game, the Timberwolves had a spurt to extend the lead.
Most of the time Friday, those stretches were keyed by outside shooting from Bri Kuestersteffen and Tia Williams.
Kuestersteffen hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter, including back-to-back shots midway through the quarter that put the Timberwolves ahead for good.
Kuestersteffen finished with 20 points to lead Norman North. Williams added 11 and Haley Woodard 10.
Blough said his team entered wanting to work on its ball movement.
“We played team basketball,” Williams said. “We shared the ball really good.”
Williams was shaken up in the final minute, taking a blow to the head and leaving the game but said she was fine afterward.
IVEN SETS STILLWATER RECORD
Stillwater's Austyn Iven set a school record with 38 points in a 68-61 win at Lawton Eisenhower.
Iven got off to a quick start, hitting her first seven shots — including six 3-pointers — by early in the second quarter.
She finished 8 of 10 from behind the 3-point line and hit all eight of her free throws.
Iven was 11 of 15 from the field overall.
Stillwater opens the playoffs Thursday against Tulsa Union at Bixby.
CHICKASHA UPSETS TOP-RANKED SHAWNEE
Class 5A No. 18 Chickasha dominated the second half to pull off a 62-52 upset over No. 1 Shawnee at home.
The loss was Shawnee's first since Dec. 8.
Shawnee led 27-24 at halftime, but the Chicks outscored the Wolves 38-35 to pull off the upset.
Alex Stewart led Chickasha with 17 points, hitting 7 of her 8 second-half free throws to help Chickasha take control. She scored seven of her points in the fourth.
Dominique Golightly added 14 and Sierra Hamilton 13 in the win.
McKenzie Cooper and Micaela Yu had 16 each for Shawnee.
EDMOND SANTA FE ESCAPES
Edmond Santa Fe coach Paul Bass said it was an attention-getter.
As the top-ranked Wolves now look ahead to next week's playoffs, Friday's 46-39 win at Edmond North was a reminder that a third consecutive state championship will have to be earned.
“Anybody can win if they're on their game. Edmond North was on their game, and we won, but it got our attention,” Bass said. “And we'll (coaches) get their attention in the next three practices.”
Tamara Lee scored 19 points to lead Santa Fe, which held a small lead most of the second half, but never got up enough to be comfortable.
Jhordyn Patton had 10 points for Edmond North, which opens the postseason at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Choctaw at Putnam City.
Santa Fe will host U.S. Grant at 8 p.m. Thursday.
“The seven seniors that came through the last two years, they earned those championship rings — and so did some of these girls,” Bass said. “But now they've got to go out and prove that they can go do it for themselves.”
Jenny Roy had 24 points as No. 16 Edmond Memorial pulled off a 48-47 upset over No. 4 Southmoore in overtime. ... Regan Smith scored 14 to help No. 20 El Reno to a 35-34 win over No. 13 Guthrie. ... Jayden Oliver's 19 points helped Putnam City to a 50-46 win over Choctaw. ... Mallory Brothers scored 23 to lead Mustang to a 55-32 win over Putnam City West. ... Erika Wakefield and Carter Cloud combined for 41 points to help Heritage Hall to a 77-49 win over Harding Prep. Wakefield had 23 to lead the Chargers.