ONEONTA – Norwich coach Mark Abbott saw one key difference between his club and Oneonta. It was a disparity that ended the Tornado’s season Friday night.
“In all three games we played them, they made big shots,” Abbott said, “ and we struggled to make shots.”
Oneonta’s shotmaking ability and uncanny use of the 30-second clock in the final quarter allowed it to pull away for Class A sectional semifinals win at Drago Gymnasium, 58-45.
A 13-point margin of victory may seem comfortable at first glance, but for three quarters and all but the last two minutes of the fourth, the Tornado were a couple of possessions away from turning the tables on the home club. “A big key for us in the second half was that we were able to get into the lane against their zone,” said Oneonta coach Jerry Mackey. They had to pinch down, and we were able to get some legitimate looks at three-pointers.”
Oneonta’s first adjustment was to scrap its man-to-man defense late in the first half and move to a zone. Norwich scored the second quarter’s first 11 points, and led 25-19 with 3:39 left in the opening half.