NORMAN — The Norman North girls missed a bunch of shots, turned the ball over plenty, particularly early, and let Westmoore get right back in the game when the Jaguars appeared to have no chance.
Also, the T-Wolves produced more turnovers than they committed, took a bunch of charges and never fell asleep so long as to allow it to become a one-possession game. And North had Bri Kuestersteffen.
It added up to a 50-36 victory.
Westmoore fell to 1-6, while North improved to 4-1 with the Crosstown Clash coming up Thursday back at the North Gym.
“You always want to be better,” North coach Jeff Blough said. “I was pleased with the first half, holding a team to seven points, but we let them back in the game. I didn’t like that. I’d like to see us extend leads.”
Kuestersteffen, North’s junior guard and returning leading scorer from last season, helped the T-Wolves establish an early 9-3 edge with six first-quarter points.
Later, she was the big reason the T-Wolves closed out the Jaguars with 11 fourth-quarter points. Without doing much in the middle, she still led both teams with 22 points.
“Early on, my shots weren’t falling,” she said. “I decided to start penetrating and that worked a little better. I adjusted to what the defense was doing.”
Kuestersteffen got help inside from forward Alexa Scott, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, important numbers on a night center Julian Mougell was saddled with foul trouble. Tia Williams came off the bench to add eight points and three assists.
“She always gets the boards,” Kuestersteffen said of Scott. “She scored more tonight. I think she can continue to do that.”
Victoria Lay led the Jaguars with eight points and five rebounds, all but one of the boards in the second half. Kaci Richardson added six points and five boards.
What the Jaguars didn’t have was a player capable of getting shots or getting fouled when the offense broke down.
Though she missed shots in the game’s midsection, that’s what Kuestersteffen offers the T-Wolves. She finished a woeful 6 of 19 from the floor, but shot selection wasn’t a problem. Two of her makes were 3-pointers and she canned 8 of 11 at the free-throw line.
Blough remains more impressed with Kuestersteffen’s overall game, which has her defending the other team’s best player and leading North in scoring, assists and steals.
“She’s one of the best guards in the state, period,” Blough said. “Her game has changed so much from last year.”
North led 23-7 at the half but came out flat in the third quarter, allowing a 13-1 run from the Jaguars to begin the second half. Scott, just a freshman, stopped the run by stepping out to nail a 3-pointer and North closed the frame on a 6-2 run to lead 30-22. Westmoore was never any closer than seven points the rest of the way.
“I think we played three and a half good quarters,” Kuestersteffen said. “I think we played well as a team.”
Clay HorningFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org