NORWICH – Norwich took back the Tom Schwan Memorial Tournament trophy, but the defending champion Oxford Blackhawks did not relinquish that championship easily.
Norwich erased a four-point deficit early in the fourth quarter rattling off 12 straight points, and Corey Dietrich along with Derek Hughes combined for 7-of-8 foul shooting over the final 41.9 seconds to seal a 52-50 win Saturday night.
Dietrich scored 20 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. He had 12 points in the fourth quarter, seven coming during the Tornado’s dozen-point spurt that put the host team on top 45-37.
“Oxford always plays well against us,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “We appreciate the effort they put forth, and it makes us a better team, too.”
Norwich seemed to gain control midway through the third period. Vaughn Labor’s three-point play, and Josh Borfitz’s three-pointer from the corner put Norwich up 33-26 with 4:34 remaining.
Oxford held Norwich scoreless the rest of the period closing to 33-32 on a layup from Cory Seiler, and a baseline jumper by Alex Champlin. Seiler snuck out for another layup after a Champlin rebound and full-court pass putting the Blackhawks in front by one early in the fourth. That hoop was followed by Brett Trask’s three ball from the corner giving Oxford a four-point lead and a bundle of momentum.