ELMIRA – Norwich coach Mark Abbott drew some solace from Wednesday night’s STAC semifinals playoff loss at Elmira Southside.
“We’ve played at a very high level for a long time and played some very good basketball,” the Norwich mentor said. “If we’re not going to be at our best, now is as good a time as any with sectionals coming up. The timing is disappointing, but we’re certainly not as bad as we looked tonight, and hopefully we’ll bounce back.”
Elmira Southside, buoyed by the strong play of senior forward Isaac Yarro, systematically dismantled the Tornado, and dealt Norwich its most lopsided loss to a Section IV team in several years, 68-44.
Yarro scored 31 points, far and way the most of any team facing the Tornado this season, and the Green Hornets also avenged losses to Norwich last year in the STAC playoffs and Section IV, Class A finals. Southside also halted Norwich’s nine-game winning streak.
“Last weekend after the Maine-Endwell game, I said that maybe we wanted it more than they did,” Abbott said. “Tonight, Southside wanted it a little more than we did. They played with a lot of fire and passion, and were clearly the better team.”