BINGHAMTON – It wasn’t a LeBron James chase-down blocked shot, but Andrew Austin’s hustle play at the end of the first half was just as effective as James’ defensive calling card.
Austin missed an open shot on the offensive end that back-rimmed toward the Maine-Endwell goal. It created an immediate fast break, and the Spartans’ Max Sinicki had a clear path to the basket to give his team much-need momentum entering halftime. Sinicki leapt for the layup, but had Austin strip Sinicki of the ball as the buzzer sounded.
“That was indicative of our team’s effort tonight,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “If Andrew doesn’t make that play, someone else would have.”
Norwich awoke from a first-quarter offensive lull, sped past M-E in the second, and controlled the dangerous Spartans the rest of the way winning 52-40 Saturday at Binghamton High School for the STAC Central Division title. It was the rubber match between these two schools, who split in the regular season, and ended in a dead-on divisional tie.
The victory gives NHS a repeat division title and a date at Elmira Southside Wednesday night in the STAC playoffs.