Greene Holiday Showcase Finals
Norwich 79, Greene 50
NORWICH – In the opening half, particularly the second quarter, Norwich coach Mark Abbott said his team could not have played much better.
Trailing Greene early on in the finals of the Trojans’ own tournament, the unbeaten Tornado scored the last nine points of the first quarter to create a 15-8 lead, then ripped through Greene in the second quarter putting 34 more points on the board to produce a sizable halftime advantage, 49-21.
“The 34 points we scored in the quarter is the second highest since I’ve been here,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “We’re awful good in the open floor, and when we can press and run like we did tonight, we’re a tough matchup for people. We had it all going in the second quarter.”
Greene (4-4) did a fair job of breaking Norwich’s full-court press in the early stages of the game, but found itself completely rattled the entire second quarter committing 18 total turnovers in the first half. “We knew about their press and worked on it in practice,” said Greene coach Rick Smith. “It got to us and that was the difference. We panicked with the ball.”
Jon Foulds, coming off a career-high 35 points Wednesday night, had 28 more yesterday evening and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Seth Thomsen added 16 points to the victory and Dennis Oralls canned 10. Foulds had 19 points by halftime, Oralls scored all of his points in the first half, and Thomsen had eight in the first two quarters. More than that, Abbott was especially pleased with the way his club distributed the ball. “The number of unselfish great passes...as a coach, that makes you feel great,” the NHS mentor said. “Every guy was looking to make that extra pass. We had countless layups. If I was a Greene fan, it had to be frustrating, especially coming off a nice win over Chenango Valley the previous night. For our players, they’re on a mission this season to create their own identity.”
Ten of Norwich’s baskets in the second quarter were layups, many coming off Greene turnovers, but a few came in transition after a defensive rebound. Foulds and Kyle Edwards also hit three-pointers in the quarter to prove that Norwich was still a capable outside shooting team.
“The last two nights Jon and Seth have had, obviously our style of play suits them,” Abbott said.
Isaiah Webb scored 13 points to lead Greene, and Jeff Carlin added nine – all on three-pointers. “This tournament was a great learning experience for us,” Smith said. “We want to build our program, and playing teams like Chenango Valley and Norwich will only help us.”