By James Champlin
Sun Sports Correspondent
NORWICH – Six-four-nine-four.
Powerball numbers? Combination to a safe? Perhaps a long forgotten code? None of the above, but rather the quarter by quarter scoring of a Sidney offense that was harassed, pressured, and generally befuddled by a Norwich defense that helped NHS coach Tom Collier claim his inaugural championship, 47-23, in the finals of the 16th Annual Tom Schwan basketball tournament Saturday night.
Junior Kyle Edwards, the tourney's MVP, scored six of his game-high 14 in the first quarter, but Norwich’s high-energy, full-court pressure was the story of this game. The menacing strategy designed to exploit the young backcourt of the Warriors repeatedly forced near desperation shots from long range as the shot clock ominously ticked down on nearly every possession.
“That was the best defensive effort I have seen in a long, long time,” Collier said after the victory. “Every player sold out and followed the game plan to a ‘T.’ Coach (Mike) Brazee (of Sidney) is a great man-to-man defensive coach, and he said some nice things about our full-court defense. The kids deserve all of the credit.”
In the opening quarter, Sidney's Billy Kozak converted a fast-break layup to knot the score at four-all, but the Warriors would then go into one of their many prolonged droughts, not scoring again for nearly five minutes. After all-tourney selection Seth Thomsen slashed to the hoop to give Norwich a 10-6 lead to end the first stanza, Sidney’s Brazee could only hope the quarter was not a portent of future misery.