Norwich 66, Elmira Free Academy 38
NORWICH – Several minutes into Wednesday night’s home game with Elmira Free Academy, Norwich had just two points on the board, it trailed by four points, and NHS head coach Mark Abbott decided to sub out his entire starting lineup.
“We just looked awfully ragged offensively,” Abbott said of his team’s start. “We missed some chippies and had some careless turnovers.”
Off the bench, sophomore Kyle Edwards and senior Frank Somich hit three balls, and Edwards added two free throws as part of an 8-0 run to give Norwich the lead for good. Edwards had 11 points by halftime and finished with a season-best 15.
“We put in five new guys to give (Elmira) a new look, and our bench gave us a big spark,” Abbott said. “It also got our first group more emotionally involved. They (the starters) weren’t disappointed at all, and were supportive. When they came back into the game, they had more energy. It wasn’t that they weren’t playing hard, they just weren’t playing well.”
Norwich had a 12-point lead at halftime, and managed to work that advantage up to 54-27 with under two minutes left in the third quarter. Dennis Oralls scored nine of his 13 points, while Seth Thomsen and Jon Foulds each had a pair of buckets.
“We played very well in the third quarter, and it was a pretty solid effort after the first quarter,” Abbott said.
Norwich (4-0) is at Susquehanna Valley on Friday, and travels to Johnson City next week to face a rugged, athletic Wildcats club.
“We have two tough tests coming up,” Abbott said. “SV is big and strong, and JC is very fast and athletic. We’re neither of those, but what we do have is good skill and a lot of heart. I’m sure we’ll be ready to play on Friday.”
NOTES: Before Wednesday night’s game, the Norwich boys’ basketball teams dedicated this season’s game program to Jim Dunne and Pete Smith. Each man is a Norwich graduate (Dunne in ‘55 and Smith in ‘63), and both have faithfully supported Norwich sports their entire lives.