BINGHAMTON – Not one person in the building at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena would have predicted a 34-point outing from Norwich’s prolific scoring offense Friday night in the Section IV, Class B finals.
The Tornado, though, were facing a red-hot Seton Catholic Central ballclub that has traditionally made a habit of making good offenses look bad.
The Saints, 10-point losers to Norwich in December’s Stop-DWI tournament, avenged that defeat with some gusto to spare capturing the sectional championship, 51-34.
Norwich, who have averaged well over 60 points per game throughout the season, had just 11 points over the second half’s entirety, and made just one basket over the game’s final six minutes and 53 seconds.
“We battled real hard, we just didn’t play great, and we needed to play great tonight,” said Norwich 24th-year coach Mark Abbott, whose sectional finals record dropped to an even 4-4.
Norwich trailed by as many as seven points in the first quarter with sophomore Tommy Torto netting 10 of his game-high 25 points, and John Armstrong adding a well-timed three-pointer.
Norwich climbed back into contention on Josh Borfitz’s three from the corner that left the Tornado four points short, 15-11, at the first turn. The second stanza looked more like the Norwich club that Tornado fans are used to seeing. The defense was stingy, and the offense was making open shots.
Reserve Jon Foulds drained a three to start the quarter, sophomore insert Dennis Oralls also drilled a long-range trey, and even Derek Hughes, who rarely attempts shots from behind the arc, canned a big-time trifecta from the left wing lifting NHS to a 23-22 halftime lead.