Then, Edmond Memorial showed why it’s the pick of many to win this year’s state championship.
Led by its Division I signees, the second-ranked Bulldogs turned on the star power and ran away from Edmond North, 78-61, in a Class 6A boys basketball regional at home Saturday night. Jordan Woodard led all scorers with 21 points, while Shaquille Morris had 19.
North led midway through the second period and trailed just 25-23 with 2:52 to go before halftime when standout point guard Carlbe Ervin picked up a third foul, joining post David Montgomery, who was already on the Husky bench with three fouls.
The Bulldogs took advantage, pulling ahead 33-25 by halftime and pushed it to a 53-40 lead going into the fourth period. Throughout, Woodard continued to attack by both driving into the lane and feeding Morris. By game’s end, Memorial had scored 22 points from the free-throw line, North post Austin Usery had fouled out and the other four Husky starters all had at least three fouls.
“We knew, physically, they didn’t match up with us. So, we wanted to attack that,” EM head coach Shane Cowherd said. “There was a spot there where we kind of got lost in the emotion of the game and let them in it, but when we stopped settling for jumpers, we were able to get to the rim.”
Ervin picked up his fourth foul with 3:02 left in the third and Memorial ahead, 44-32. He finished with 16 points to lead the Huskies, who also received 11 from Ed Baker and 10 from Tyler Sanders.
North had beaten Memorial in one of their two meetings earlier this season, but that game was played without Woodard, who sat with an ankle inury.
“I learned we’re much better with Jordan Woodard than we are without him,” Cowherd said of the earlier loss. “The last time we played them, we’d played them after a close game with Santa Fe when we also didn’t have Jordan. We stayed true to ourselves tonight and it got us the win.”
The Bulldogs advance to Friday’s area finals against the winner of regional 4. The Huskies also will play on Friday against the runner-up of regional 4, needing to win twice to qualify for the state tournament.