Norwich 53, Seton Catholic Central 46
BINGHAMTON – While there are more goals yet to achieve, Norwich met one of its primary ones Wednesday night against one of the best teams in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference.
The Tornado avenged a loss to Seton Catholic Central earlier this season in the STOP-DWI Tournament clinching the STAC Central Division title on the Saints’ home floor.
Norwich trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half, but rallied behind its tenacious defense and precision offense.
“We’ve grown to accumulate a lot of respect for Seton Catholic Central’s basketball program,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “This win is very satisfying. On top of beating them on their home floor, we were able to clinch the division.”
Norwich whittled the 15-point lead back to six entering the fourth quarter. Corey Dietrich had eight of his 12 points during the opening eight minutes after intermission. From there, junior Richie Bonney carried the Tornado offensively scoring 15 of his career-high 20 points.
Bonney hit a pair of three-pointers, and added points in a variety of ways to spearhead the attack. Norwich put the game on ice making 7-of-8 from the foul line in the last stanza. “I was pleased with the emotion and intensity we had in the second half,” Abbott said. “I didn’t think we had the emotion in the first half and we needed to believe in ourselves that we could win.”
Seton led by just two at the end of the first quarter. Similar to the first meeting at the Broome County Arena, the Saints nearly blew Norwich out with a dominant second quarter. The Saints scored the first 17 points of the second quarter to lead 26-7. Most of that spurt was done with Norwich starting forwards David Carson and Vaughn Labor on the bench with foul trouble. Abbott re-inserted Carson and Labor back in the lineup, and the swollen Saints advantage was reduced to 12.