No local boys basketball team has a big three quite like Norwich.
Seth Thomsen was already honored on these pages a month ago, and the other two-thirds of that terrific triad – Dennis Oralls and Kyle Edwards – join Thomsen today as Smith Ford Supercenter/Evening Sun Athletes of the Week.
Norwich’s lineup is far from typical. It’s guard-oriented, and those who play the forward position are mostly, well, just well-disguised guards.
Oralls, a 6-foot-3 senior, is the tallest member of the undersized Tornado roster, and a third-year varsity member. Oralls put together perhaps the finest back-to-back games of his career in victories over Oneonta and Chenango Valley last week.
He displayed an all-around offensive game against the ‘Jackets hitting three-pointers, driving to the basket, and sticking mid-range jumpers that are low on the flash meter, but cruelly effective against the opposition. And in end-of-game situations, Oralls is the best free throw shooter on the team. “Dennis is just an unbelievable weapon to have for us at the end of a game,” said Norwich coach Tom Collier. “He’s a guy that hits 80 to 90 percent of his free throws, and he closes out games.”
Oralls ended Chenango Valley’s victory hopes in the Stop DWI finals a month ago hitting 10-for-12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. He was similarly effective against Oneonta winding up 8-for-9 for the game, and he added 10 free throws in 13 attempts against CV in the second meeting. Again, Oralls was golden from the stripe sinking the Warriors with eight free throws in the final quarter.