Special to The Sun
It had been a day short of two weeks when head coach Steven Goss and the Edmond North High School Huskies fell to the undefeated Bulldogs of Edmond Memorial inside their own Siberian Gym, during the Edmond Open Basketball Tournament.
It would be the Huskies who would make Memorial undefeated no more Thursday night in front of a raucous home crowd at the Siberian Gym, as North overcame furious rallies and foul trouble, escaping with a 60-58 victory.
“It’s a big win for us,” Goss said. “Memorial is a great team, great coach, they’ve got great players, but that’s where this program wants to be. Beating them was a big step in building what we want to build.”
After jumping out to an early 19-10 lead, the Huskies (6-3) kept the Bulldogs (7-1) close by sending them to the stripe nine times in the first half alone. However, seven Bulldog penalties in the half prevented them from overcoming North’s lead, with the Huskies making it to the half leading by 13.
In the second half, North’s foul woes continued to the tune of 11 total in the half, with Memorial big man Shaquille Morris drawing loud cheers from the visitors section with emphatic, powerful dunks on his way to a 12-point night from the field.
The Bulldogs were without injured star point guard Jordan Woodard, and were unable to capitalize on the Huskies’ foul problems. North’s Carlbe Ervin matched Morris’ field production with fast-break layups, bolstered by Ed Baker’s 10 points from the field, six of which came from beyond the arc.
Leading 43-37 at the start of the fourth quarter, North found themselves on their heels as Memorial rallied to take the lead going in to the final minutes thanks to Morris and Tyler Holcomb, who added a pair of threes and four free throws for the Bulldogs. However, a late 5-0 run courtesy of Baker kept the Huskies alive, affording them the narrow victory as the final seconds expired.
“It’s just growth,” Goss said. “These kids have been through a lot, we want to continue playing our best basketball in February, and I think we’re getting better. We’re better in December than we were in November, and we’ll be better in January than we were in December.”
Both teams return to action Jan. 4. The Huskies will travel to Stillwater to face the Stillwater High School Pioneers, while the Bulldogs will go to Norman to face the Timberwolves of Norman North.