Norwich 59, Owego 53
NORWICH – Close games have not always been kind to Norwich this season. Wednesday, on senior recognition night, those close-game woes changed.
The Tornado rallied from six points down in the fourth quarter outscoring the Indians 23-11 in the final period to grab their tenth win of the season.
“Persistency won this game...it’s almost as if we refused to lose,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “We kept missing shot after shot, but we found a way to hang around and we were able to finish.”
Nate Foote scored all seven of his points in the fourth quarter including a three-pointer with 2:18 to play that put Norwich ahead to stay, 52-51. Foote added a key jumper with 33 seconds left upping the margin to 57-53 and canceling out Owego’s victory hopes.
Wade Kornegay, making his first varsity start, had two big steals in the fourth quarter scoring five of his career-high 13 points. Robert Martin led Norwich in scoring for the eighth straight game finishing with 21. “We had some guys who haven’t played much come in and play extremely well,” Abbott said. “Wade did a nice job, Craig Berg came in and gave us some good minutes, and Chris Mattingly, even though he didn’t score, gave us a lift. We played with a lot of heart. It’s not always pretty or effective, but the effort is always there.”
Owego gained control of the game in the second quarter finishing the stanza on an 8-2 run to lead 31-24. And, with leading scorer Jack Keough on the bench to start the third quarter, the visitors maintained their advantage getting six points from Andy Marzo.
Norwich erased Owego’s 42-36 lead entering the fourth in just three minutes. Berg hit a jumper from the foul line, Martin drove for a layup, and Kornegay scored the next four points tying the game at 44-44.
“As always, it was great to get to 10 wins,” Abbott said. “It’s a tough league and you have to be ready to play every night.”
Notes: Norwich’s junior varsity team improved to 13-5 on the season winning 59-46. The Tornado juniors clinched the STAC Central Division title last week and will play in the league semifinals next week in Binghamton...Martin made his first five free throws to start the game extending his streak of made freebies to 22 before missing early in the second quarter. Over his last four games, Martin is 32-for-35 from the stripe.
Owego: Mike Post, 5 0-0-10; Dan Brainard, 0; Mike Bensley, 0; Josh Hubman, 2 0-0-4; Ryan Bullock, 0; Shawn Linehan, 1 0-0-2; Phil Arnold, 1 1-2-3; Jack Keough, 4 7-15-15; Andy Marzo, 6 3-5-15; Parker Evans, 2 0-0-4; Matt Gugliardo, 0. Totals: 21 11-22-53.
Norwich: Shane Thompson, 0; Chris Mattingly, 0 0-2-0; Patrick Coates, 1 1-2-3; Keegan Edwards, 2 0-0-4; Nate Foote, 2 2-2-7; Robert Martin, 4 12-14-21; Vaughn Labor, 1 0-0-2; Tyler Saroka, 1 0-0-2; Justin Ballin, 0; Wade Kornegay, 4 3-4-13; Amos Parry, 1 0-0-2; Craig Berg, 1 3-6-5. Totals: 17 21-30-59.