NORWICH – It’s but all or nothing for Oxford in the Tom Schwan Tournament of late, and this year it was the “all’s” turn.
The Blackhawks survived several last-minute shot attempts by Norwich to tie or take the lead, and held on for a 46-45 victory Saturday. It was the second title in three seasons in this tourney for the Blackhawks, who sandwiched those championships around a last-place finish a year ago.
“I hope we aren’t peaking now, like we did two years ago,” said Oxford coach Tim Davis.
Oxford took the lead for good at the end of the third quarter. With a minute to play, Hugh Witchella tied the game on a layup, and junior Alex Champlin hit a running left-hander in the lane making it 37-35 entering the fourth quarter.
Most of Norwich’s looks at the basket were open jump shots, the last of which by senior Nate Foote caromed off the front of the rim. The Tornado’s Timmy Clark gathered the offensive rebound near the endline, but was whistled for a traveling call when he tripped over an unseen player’s legs. “I didn’t think we shot the ball that well against B-G last Wednesday, but that was nothing compared to this,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “We had so many open looks that didn’t fall. There’s nothing you can do about that except keep shooting them.”