MOORE — For at least one night, there wasn’t anything wrong with the Norman High offense. After several games of struggling without the injured Taylor Ely, baskets came easy again for the Tigers on Friday night against Moore, and NHS hit plenty of them in a 51-31 win over Moore.
After topping 40 points in just one of their last four games, the Tigers had almost reached that number by the end of the third quarter, with good ball movement and unselfish passing to thank for it. The Tigers finished the game with 14 assists on 17 field goals, one of their best efforts of the year in that regard.
The victory broke a three-game losing streak for NHS, including a 43-40 loss to Westmoore at the Ardmore Tournament a week ago in a game the Tigers felt they gave away.
“We knew we had to win this game,” senior Albany Anderson said. “We came together as a team. This was a big confidence booster coming out of Ardmore.”
The Tigers found the blueprint of a successful offense from the start. Keyed by three Bethany Cox assists in the first quarter, they jumped out to a 10-3 lead with assists coming on all four baskets in that stretch.
Possibly the biggest piece of that blueprint is Anderson’s continuing development into an explosive scorer. She scored six of NHS’ first 10 points and had 10 to go along with six rebounds by halftime. She finished with a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds.
“Albany’s offense will follow from her defense and rebounding,” coach Nichole Copeland said. “She was really active tonight, and she’s playing with confidence.”
Moore was cold from the field all night, allowing NHS to build a 22-11 halftime lead, and it didn’t improve much in the second half. Despite getting several open looks, the Lions didn’t make their first three-pointer until Amanda Patterson sank one with 5:20 left in the game.
By that point, it was far too late, and the Tigers cruised to the season sweep over Moore.
Just as important as the victory for NHS was the way it came, with Bethany Cox having one of her best games of the year and the Tigers getting significant contributions from a number of role players. Besides Cox, who finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists, the Tigers also got 11 points from Erica Mitchell and another six boards and four assists from Channah Cox.
“I was really pleased with the way we started the game and the way we moved the ball all night,” Copeland said. “It was big for Bethany and for our team to get her going a little bit again.”
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