BINGHAMTON – It began just over a year ago, and the mission was clear for Norwich: Win a Section IV championship. Over 90 games later, counting offseason and regular season games, mission accomplished.
The Purple Tornado, who had not played Elmira Southside in over two decades until two weeks ago, beat the Green Hornets for the second straight time, and staked its claim as the best Class A team in Section IV, 51-46, Thursday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
“At the beginning of AAU season last year, we made winning the Section IV Class A title our goal,” said Norwich senior forward Vaughn Labor, a three-year varsity player for NHS. “It’s been 11 months of hard work and it feels great getting there.”
Labor scored 21 points to lead Norwich, whose revolving door of various offensive weapons reared itself once again. A different player led Norwich in scoring in all three games, and Labor wasn’t even among the top four scorers in the previous contest.
“Norwich has smart kids and is so well-coached. If you take away one player, they’re just going to find someone else to hurt you,” said Elmira Southside head coach John Fetesch. “They’ll do a good job representing Section IV in Class A.”
Outside of the game’s opening bucket, Elmira Southside did not lead at any point in the game. Still, down to the Tornado 47-37 with 4:31 left, the Hornets found a way to make the game interesting.