Despite having Cooper Battisti back in the lineup, Southmoore was unable to slow down No. 10 Norman North Saturday as they fell 86-61 at North Gym.

“They are a good team,” Southmoore coach Wes Brown said of North. “They shoot the ball extremely well. They shoot the ball as well as anybody in the state, I promise you. They are a real good team. They are one of the top teams in the state the way they shoot the ball.”

The game was originally scheduled to have been played Friday, but was postponed due to the weather. The extra day didn’t slow down North.

The T-Wolves sprinted out to a quick 15-6 lead before Southmoore went on an 8-0 run to close within a point.

But Malcolm Carter gave the Timberwolves a 20-16 advantage heading into the second quarter.

Each time the SaberCats made a run or looked like they make take the lead, Garrett Pearson rained down a 3-pointer to settle the contest down.

The Timberwolves began to pull away and took a 45-32 lead into halftime.

No. 10 Norman North girls 49, Southmoore 34: Southmoore jumped out to a 25-11 lead in the first half behind Alyssa Jones and Kyeria Hannah. But the Timberwolves ended the half on a 7-0 run to close Southmoore’s advantage to 25-18.

North slowly crept back into the game by picking up its defensive pressure and scoring in the paint. They trailed 30-26 to start the final period.

The SaberCats fell apart down the stretch while the T-Wolves made every shot they needed to and attacked the boards.

North outscored Southmoore 23-4 in the fourth quarter.

“Well, obviously the momentum twisted at that moment,” coach Britney Kannady-Sayes said. “They hit a couple of big shots. We were a bit tired and winded. And mentally, we just kind of shut down and stopped playing. Everytime they hit a big shot, our heads went down a little bit farther. That adds up.”

Kuestersteffen led the T-Wolves with 21 points. Scott added 11, all in the second half.

Hannah paced Southmoore with 13 points. No other played reached double digits in scoring.

The Cats fourth quarter struggles have been a theme for the team since the injury to junior forward Serithia Hawkins earlier this season.

“I think it’s mental discipline,” Kannady-Sayes said said. “I think we’ve had some hard knocks so far this year. So we will start taking that step forward, moving forward. Then something will happen and it all comes crashing back.”

The Cats hope to get some reinforcement this week. Hawkins is expected to be back in the lineup in their next outing. The team has lost 9 of 11 games since she went down with an elbow injury.

“She has actually been cleared to fully practice,” Kannady-Sayes said said. “She is extending all the way in shooting. She’ll practice all week in her new brace. Hopefully, she will be in our game Friday versus Edmond Memorial.”

Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth

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