The Edmond Sun

February 27, 2014

Norman North puts end to Lady Huskies’ season

Greg Kennedy
Special to The Sun

NORMAN — The Edmond North Lady Huskies knew they had a tall task Thursday night in the Class 6A regional playoffs if they were going to keep their season alive.

As much strategy as the Huskies tried to use against the seventh-ranked Norman North Timberwolves — full- and half-court pressure, defense against the 3-pointer, establishing offense inside — they simply couldn’t overcome Norman North’s speed, athleticism and size.

Norman North, on its home floor, cruised to a 60-45 win to advance to Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. championship game against Lawton Eisenhower.

The Huskies played with intensity and high energy on defense in the first quarter, but hit only 2-of-10 shots from the field. Two other made baskets were called off because of offensive fouls.

The Lady Timberwolves, though, broke a 2-2 tie with three consecutive 3-pointers and the Huskies found themselves trailing 13-4.

The shooting woes continued for the Edmond North in the second frame as Edmond North only just 2-of-7 shots. The T-Wolves, however, put together a 13-1 run that broke the game open for good.

“One of our big keys going in was to not get in a hole like that,” said Karlie Free, Edmond North head coach. “Unfortunately, we did. We were just going to have to keep fighting.”

Kendall Burdge, a sophomore guard, came off the bench to lead Edmond North in scoring with 11 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Junior forward Sloan Hendley followed with seven points and six rebounds.

Starters Leah Smith and Brittney Knight — both seniors playing their final game — scored six points each. Knight also had six rebounds.

The Huskies, who trailed by 30 at one point in the third quarter, cut the deficit in half and outscored Norman North 18-10 in the final quarter.

Part of Coach Free’s plan in the second half was to penetrate the ball to the inside for closer shots and possible fouls. While not many shots fell, the fouls came and the Huskies hit 12-of-14 free throws in the second half. They finished the game 18-for-22 at the line.

From the field, Edmond North shot 30 percent (13-for-44), including just 1-of-6 from 3-point range. Shelbi Pekus, a sophomore, hit the lone trey.

For Norman North, senior Bri Kuestersteffen led the scoring with 16 points.

Edmond North finishes the season with a 5-18 record.