Susquehanna Valley 56, Norwich 49
CONKLIN – Norwich encountered its kryptonite Friday night: Susquehanna Valley.
The Sabers defeated Norwich for the second time this season, just the Tornado’s third loss overall.
Brendan Normile, an athletic 6-foot-7 junior, scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Sabers, who withstood Norwich’s late comeback led by junior guard Kyle Edwards.
“They were really good defensively and their defensive slides (in their zone) were great,” said Norwich coach Tom Collier. “Normile was just tremendous. We threw everything at them, but he’s just so athletic. We had him identified and had a plan, we just couldn’t stop him.”
Leading Norwich 25-22 early in the third quarter, the Sabers’ Josh Swanger canned a three to start a 12-0 run in which the purple-clad Tornado failed to drop in a point for some five minutes. Normile had half-a-dozen points during the breakout lifting the advantage to 37-22 with two minutes left in the quarter.
That’s when Edwards went to work in an incredible barrage of three-point accuracy. Edwards, who was 6-for-6 from beyond the three-point arc in Norwich’s win over Chenango Valley last week. Hit two three-pointers late in the third quarter trimming SV’s lead to 11.
Edwards kept the three balls coming, and Norwich within 52-49 on the NHS junior guard’s sixth three ball over a nine-minute span. Teammate Seth Thomsen contributed a traditional three-point play that preceded Edwards’ last trifecta.
Normile cinched up the Sabers’ victory with a minute to go converting a low-post move that he turned into a three-point play. “Kyle got really hot and put us on his shoulders and tried to bring us back,” Collier said. “It was an incredible effort.”
Norwich had just four players score in the game, and Edwards, Seth Thomsen (12), and Dennis Oralls (9) had 45 of their team’s 49 points. “Their role players outscored our role players,” Collier said. “It was definitely a problem and something we’ll need to address. But you have to give all the credit to Susquehanna Valley. We didn’t play badly, they were just better than us.”