The Edmond North Huskies used half-opening runs in both the first- and second-halves Tuesday night to upend the Mustang Broncos.
Edmond North head coach Pete Papahronis was excited about his team’s season-opening win.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Papahronis said. “To go into Mustang’s gym against a good, strong team like that and pulling out a convincing win is great.”
North took the contest by 22 overall points, led by senior Graycen Holden’s game-best 22 points.
The Huskies rattled off to an early 16-nil lead in Tuesday’s first half. Second chance opportunities and dominance inside the offensive lane helped North jump, and Laci Steele landed a pair of free-throws to cap off the near 20-point run.
Mustang’s Jaycee Freshour netted all three of her first-quarter 3-pointers, though, and her teammate Lunden Foreman netted two deep-balls of her own to open the second quarter. The spree meant Mustang took a brief one-point advantage midway through the second.
North ended the half on a run, though, taking a five-point edge into the locker room.
Out of half, Edmond North did it again -- landing a flurry of body-shots inside the lane to take another double-digit edge. Elle Papahronis finished a spinning, left-to-right lay in with just over three minutes left in the third to put the Huskies up 15.
Mustang tried to answer, but a timeout from head coach Pete Papahronis cut the run short of single digits.
Papahronis said the reason why the second-half lead held up was because his staff put emphasis on playing defense the right way during the halftime intermission.
“We just did everything right,” he said. “The thing we were worried about was their shooting ability. In the first half they got multiple open looks at 3-pointers. They got some offensive rebounds and that led us to scrambling and more 3-pointers.
“At halftime we said ‘no more second chance points, and let’s cut the penetration and the kick-outs.’ Our defense was much better in that second half.”
Opening the fourth quarter meant it was Toni Papahronis’ turn. She’d kill a 3-point try after Steele’s aggressive defense led to Papahronis’ trey just after the Huskies sped down the court. Then, another Toni Papahronis long-ball cashed in to offset another Mustang trey.
Steele’s defense garnished more points late, too, after she blocked a Mustang 3-point try with two minutes left in Tuesday’s contest. The rebound was nabbed by Holden, who was immediately sent to the line for the last of her game-leading 22 points.
Toni Papahronis finished with another 20, while freshmen Steele and Elle Papahronis added 16 and 11, respectively.
Coach Papahronis was proud of his freshmen forgoing traditional, high school butterflies.
“They’re two pretty dang good freshman. We knew that coming in, a lot of people know it, too. We were worried about the freshman jitters but they both were fantastic tonight.”
The blowout comes in what was the closest-paired girls match of the day. In preliminary rankings, the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association had the Mustang team pinned at No. 7 in Class 6A, with the Huskies slotted right behind them at No. 8.
Edmond North will travel to play in the Owasso Invitational this weekend.