NORMAN — Norman High was just a few minutes away from victory. The Tigers had slowed the Lions’ offense and had made a few big plays, including a backdoor pass for an and-one from Sam Blodgett to Daniel Harper, to retake the lead at 40-36 with four minutes remaining.
58 seconds later, things had changed drastically.
Moore hit a pair of 3- pointers and forced two Tiger turnovers under their own basket, and what had been a four-point NHS lead was suddenly a 44-40 Lions advantage. After that surge, the Tigers could not climb out of the hole, and never got within a possession again in Moore’s 53-47 victory.
“That’s what our guys can do,” Moore coach Aaron Howell said. “Norman tried to slow us down a lot, but we were able to execute our gameplan.”
That gameplan involved forcing the tempo and attacking the basket, something that worked very well for the Lions on Tuesday night. Despite being pegged as a jump-shooting team, Moore was able to attempt 25 free throws in the game, and hit 17 of them. NHS, meanwhile, got to the line only 14 times.
That was the biggest difference in a back-and-forth game that saw the lead change hands a number of times before Moore was able to pull away in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers jumped out to an 11-4 advantage behind nine early points from Blodgett and were able to build a 15-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. But then Moore’s up-tempo guard play began to dominate the game, and the Lions found cracks in the Tiger defense to penetrate the paint and kick it back out to their three-point shooters.
Sam Blodgett led NHS with 13 points and 11 rebounds to record a double-double.
Dorian Gigger paced Moore with 15 points. Jaylon Wilson added 12 points off the bench.
The Lions kept their win streak alive when it 3-0 over the weekend at the Tahlequah Tournament. They defeated Coweta 71-59 in the championship game Saturday to run its record to 5-1 heading into this week.
Moore will take on Midwest City Friday before facing Southmoore Tuesday.