Norwich 58, Johnson City 51
JOHNSON CITY – As well as Johnson City played in the second half, it was not enough to overcome the Tornado’s blistering early pace.
Norwich cleared the first big hurdle in its run at a STAC Central Division title beating JC on the road Friday night.
Josh Borfitz scored a team-high 16 points for Norwich, and canned a big three-pointer in the fourth quarter as the 30-second shot clock sounded. Casey Edwards also drained a key three ball in the last stanza. Forward Richie Bonney posted his third straight double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
“We knew in the second half that (Johnson City) would come after us,” said Norwich head coach Mark Abbott. “For the most part, it was a 10- to 15-point lead, but they made a couple runs that we were able to fight off.”
Norwich was idle for nearly two weeks after opening the season in late-November with the Schwan Tournament title. In spite of the game rust, Norwich raced to a 29-9 halftime lead. “In the first half they settled for jump shots, and we a great job on the defensive boards to build a comfortable lead,” Abbott said. “They were a desperate team in the second half, and they used their athletic ability to make things happen. Fortunately, we continued to play good offense in the second half.”
Borfitz and Bonney combined to make 4-of-6 free throws late in the game to sew up the win. Derek Hughes contributed a team-best six assists for the Tornado (3-0), who play at Maine-Endwell Tuesday.
NHS: Borfitz, 4 4-5-16; Bonney, 6 3-5-15; Foulds, 3 0-0-8; Edwards, 2 0-0-6; Hughes, 1 3-5-5; Austin, 0 3-4-3; martinson, 1 0-0-2; Thomsen, 1 0-0-2; Williams, 0 1-2-1; Favaloro, 0; Kelly, 0; Oralls, 0; Somich, 0. Totals: 18 14-21-58.