CNHI News Service
Coming off a game against Class 3A’s third-ranked Midwest City on Tuesday, things didn’t get any easier for the Tigers. Top-ranked Edmond Memorial came to NHS on Friday, and while the Tigers were able to play with the Bulldogs at times, they were unable to threaten the upset, falling 52-34.
A horrible first quarter in which the Tigers couldn’t knock down a shot set the tone for the game. Memorial outscored the Tigers 13-2 in the opening frame and forced NHS to play from behind the rest of the way.
NHS was able to keep within striking distance for much of the night, pulling the deficit to nine several times in the second half, but that’s as close as the Tigers would come.
“It seemed like every time we would get close, we just couldn’t get that next possession we needed,” coach Matt Thornton said. “But we kept battling. There’s a lot of fight in this team.”
Led by the dominating inside presence of Shaquille Morris, the Bulldogs dominated the paint. Morris finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks on the night, and he altered even more shots. That forced the Tigers to turn to jumpers, and they couldn’t get enough to fall. Jay Finley and Cooper Clark led the way for NHS with 10 apiece, but it wasn’t enough to match Memorial’s Aaron Young, who led all scorers with 17.
Still, there were some positives for the Tigers, including a second quarter in which they outscored Memorial 11-10 and a fourth quarter they played to within a point.
“We played well at times,” Thornton said. “Sometimes you see that peek of brilliance, but sometimes it disappears completely.”