In the final game of 2019, the Deer Creek Lady Antlers snapped Edmond North’s undefeated season with a 69-65 Friday night win at Siberian Gymnasium. North is now 7-1 on the season.
“We’re gritty,” said Deer Creek head coach Alex Moorehead. “We look at the rankings every day but our thought is we’re always unranked so we’re always an underdog. We’ve got a lot of girls who are itching to play. We haven’t done very well on this court so we’re just happy to get a win.”
After the first basket of the game by North’s Amaia Maxwell, North never led again as Deer Creek’s Angel Scott responded with a 3-pointer to give the Antlers the lead.
North struggled with Deer Creek’s full-court press that led to 11 first half turnovers. They also shot 38% from the field (8-21). As a result North headed into the half down by 8 points.
The Huskies would come out in the second half and cut the deficit to three twice, first coming by a Toni Papahronis steal and score in the third quarter with 1:11 remaining and then a T. Papahronis layup in the fourth with 30 seconds remaining.
But North could never get over the hump as Deer Creek’s Skylar Vann led with 34 points on 60% shooting (12-20). She scored the final point of the game from the free-throw line putting it out of reach as the Antlers went up by 4 with 4.2 seconds remaining to play.
“It’s definitely a team effort — Skylar [Vann] Bri [Scott], Brenna [Burk] — we’ve got eight seniors so they are just hungry, that’s it,” Moorehead said.
North boys beat Creek
In the boys game, it was Edmond North who got the better of Deer Creek as the Huskies topped the Antlers 58-38.
“I like our defensive effort to hold them to 38 points,” said Edmond North head coach Scott Norris. “We’ve got to continue to improve. I think a few days off will really help us. It’s been such a tough fast start to the season, we really need time to catch our breath and understand how we can get better and what we need to improve.”
Deer Creek was held without a field goal for the duration of the first quarter scoring only three points in the quarter all by Sam Battle at the free-throw line. The Antlers held Deer Creek without a field goal until 7:03 was left to play in the first half.
“We’ve got so many guards, we can switch everything and I think people just aren’t use to seeing that every day in practice,” Norris said. “So it takes them some time to adjust to it and what they’re trying to get, and when we rebound the basketball and they don’t get second shots that helps too.”
North limited Deer Creek to just one offensive rebound in the first quarter.
North’s Dalante Shannon led all scorers with 22 points. He was red-hot from behind the arc as he knocked down five 3-pointers. Four of his 3-pointers came in the second half.
“He’s going to keep growing and keep being a better player every night,” Norris said. “I think it just takes him a little bit of time to get comfortable in what his role really is and where he can pick his spots to go at the defense and let his teammates create some shots for him too. I thought our guys did a great job of that when he was open off of their penetration they found him and he knocked down shots.”
North’s Landry Harris was the first half leader with 12 points until Shannon took over. Harris finished with 16 points.
Deer Creek’s Jerry Tullis led the Antlers with 10 points. He was followed by his teammates Sam Battle and Zach Smith who both had 5.
Defensively Jalyn Todd finished the game with three blocked shots, which all came in the first half.
Friday night was the final game of the year for all four teams.
“I think we’re ready for Christmas break,” Norris said. “Those games right before Christmas break are tough. The energy in the building is low because there’s not that many students here.”
After the break the Huskies will return to the court to host the Norman North Timberwolves Jan. 7, 2020. Deer Creek will host the Westmoore Jaguars Jan. 3, 2020.