By Michael Kinney
NORMAN– Putnam City West headed into the finals of the Joe Lawson Memorial Invitational on a nice little run. Since losing their season opener the Patriots had reeled off five straight victories by an average of 28 points.
However, waiting in the title game for them was the defending 6A champions Norman High. The fourth-ranked Tigers had also cruised through the early rounds of the tourney and came into the matchup undefeated.
At the end of the day, it was No. 8 PC West who came away with the 60-52 overtime victory Saturday at Norman North High School and were crowned the tournament champions.
The Patriots handed the Tigers their first defeat in more than two years. Their last loss came on Dec. 3, 2019 against Deer Creek.
Putnam City West was led by Taliyah Parker, who posted 19 points. Shamar Bent added 16 points and Caya Smith chipped in with 12.
Jaki Rollins dropped 15 points for Norman while Adyson George tallied 12.
The two teams battled back and forth for most of the night. Neither was able to build a huge lead.
The game was tied at 52-52 with 3 seconds left in regulation. The Patriots ran the clock all the way down before Brooklyn Fisher launched a 3-pointer from the top of the key that was off the mark.
The contest went into overtime, which is where the Patriot’s defense took over. With Norman’s starting point guard fouled out, PC West’s full-court pressure was able to rack up the turnovers or force the Tigers into hurried shots.
The Patriots only needed to score eight points in the extra period because NHS was held scoreless.
Norman will be back in action Dec. 17 when they host Norman North. Putnam City West will travel to Enid Tuesday.