Special to The Sun
The Edmond North boys basketball team has won 80 percent of its tournament games this season, but has yet to come home with championship hardware.
Don’t, however, expect the pressure to be on the Huskies when they meet up with Bishop McGuinness on Saturday night. Not with the way they’re playing defense.
Edmond North’s full-court pressure caused Norman North problems all night and came up big down the stretch in a 64-59 victory in the semifinals of the McGuinness Classic on Friday night. The Huskies, who fell in the finals of the Edmond Open earlier this season, will play the host Fighting Irish in the finals at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
“We try to hang our hat on our pressure defense,” Edmond North head coach Steven Goss said. “We really try to force turnovers and push the tempo. And that was the key to victory tonight, is we kept the pressure on them all night.”
Four players scored in double figures for the Huskies, as David Montgomery had 16, Tyler Sanders 15, Carlbe Ervin 14 and Austin Usery 11. Edmond North barely subbed, and only the five starters scored.
The biggest lead of the game was just six points, as the lead changed hands at least twice every quarter. Edmond North led, 30-27, at halftime, but saw its lead erased on a last-second 3 to end the third period with a 45-45 tie.
A pair of buckets by Ervin and a 3-point play by Montgomery helped the Huskies get to a 54-49 advantage, but a Norman North trey pulled the Timberwolves back to within 58-56 with 1:15 to go. Edmond North forced back-to-back turnovers from there, thanks to its full-court pressure, and free throws by Sanders and Usery sealed it.
Goss said he not only likes the way his team is playing, but is hopeful about the Huskies’ chances in the finals against Bishop McGuinness.
“I feel good,” he said. “I told them when we got here that we were here to play for a championship, and now we’re going to be doing that. We need that.”