At halftime of Edmond North and Norman North’s regional finals matchup on Saturday, sophomore Toni Papahronis entered the locker room with no points.
Her team held a 21-18 lead, but she knew it wouldn’t be enough.
“I knew I had to step up in the second half if we were gonna win,” she said following Saturday’s game. “We were up by three the last time we played them and they caught up and beat us.”
There would be no comeback for Norman North (17-8) this time, as Papahronis scored eight points in the second half to lead Edmond North (18-7) to a 42-36 regional championship win over the Timberwolves. Six of her eight points came on pivotal back-to-back triples in the third quarter.
The Huskies started off the game on a hot-streak. After Norman North’s Kayton Kite hit the first shot of the game, Edmond North outscored the Timberwolves 15-2 the rest of the quarter. Laci Steele, who was a force for the Huskies down low on Saturday, finished with six of her nine points in the first quarter. Steele dominated the glass all game long, grabbing multiple offensive boards for second-chance points.
The Timberwolves bounced back in the second quarter, outscoring Edmond North 13-6 to cut the deficit to just three at half. Norman North’s Jessika Evans scored five points in the quarter and eight in total, despite being in foul trouble a majority of the contest.
The third quarter of Saturday’s contest between Edmond North and Norman North quickly became a 3-point contest, as Norman North’s Fatima Black started the quarter out 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. All 12 of the T-Wolves third quarter points came on threes. Papahronis’ two three’s would be in answer to Black’s.
Despite a shooting display in the third, the fourth quarter was dominated by defense, as Edmond North held the Timberwolves to just six fourth-quarter points to hang on for a six-point win.
“We practice defense more than probably any team,” Papahronis said. “If we don’t have a good defensive game, we don’t play good at all. Most of our offense comes from our defense.”
Edmond North’s Graycen Holden finished with a game-high 14 points. Black led the way for Norman North with 9 points, all off her third quarter 3s. Keely Hunt trailed Black with 7 points for the T-Wolves.
The Huskies will now face No. 2 Deer Creek, and one of the Edmond teams will punch their ticket to the Class 6A state tournament. The Huskies area bout with the Antlers is on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.