Norwich 73, Owego 63
NORWICH – With a division title out of reach, Norwich found something else to play for Friday evening on senior recognition night.
Kyle Edwards canned five three-pointers finishing with 22 points, and Dennis Oralls finished with 18 points along with initiating several key plays in the fourth quarter to salt away the win.
“We talked before the game about how important this game was,” said Norwich coach Tom Collier. “By winning this game, I think we may have clinched the number one seed in the (Section IV Class) playoffs.”
Offensively, Norwich was at its best in the first half. Seth Thomsen had six early points including a breakaway one-handed dunk. Oralls scored eight in the first quarter as well, and he dished to Storm Cook for a 10-foot baseline jumper at the first-quarter horn raising the lead to 25-11.
Edwards caught fire from behind the three-point arc hitting three three-pointers in the first 2:09 of the second stanza. The first of those threes led to a rare five-point play. Edwards drained his first trey from the left wing, and was knocked down a moment after releasing the ball leading to a one-and-one free throw situation. Edwards made both freebies, and following a defensive stop, NHS junior Danny Carson banked in a three ball making it 33-13. Norwich led by as many as 23 in the second quarter, and took a 47-33 lead into halftime.
“In the first half, that was probably some of the best ball movement we’ve had all year,” Collier said. “We’re adding more and more to the offense, and I thought we were really good with the team chemistry with certain people on the floor.”
Owego switched exclusively to a zone defense in second half, and steadily climbed back into the game. An 8-0 run late in the third quarter closed Norwich’s lead to 56-47. Stephen Yanchus and Matt Warchocki led the second-half Owego charge, and two free throws from Jake Shelley had the visitors within 10 points of Norwich for the first time since the opening minutes of the game.
An Edwards three ball with one second left in the third quarter pushed Norwich’s lead back to 12. “Owego is a pretty scrappy team, and we were wary about this game,” Collier said. “People look at their record and think they’re not that good. Their record doesn’t indicate how good they are, and I thought they had the momentum in the second half. They were beating us up and down the floor, and we had trouble stopping their penetration.”
A Warchocki jumper with 6:46 left in the fourth had the Indians within 61-52. Over the next 3 1/2 minutes, Norwich put the game away. Oralls found Walling on the left wing, who stuck a 16-footer. Two consecutive NHS defensive stops led to more points on the home team’s end. Walling canned a corner three, again receiving the dish from Oralls, and Oralls’ spot-up jump at the 4:35 mark raised the advantage back to 16. A Michael Sutton steal and layup completed a 9-0 Norwich run, and effectively ended Owego’s victory hopes.
“We were able to get some defensive stops when our lead was slipping away,” Collier said of the fourth quarter. “We made some plays on the offensive end that sealed the win.”
Thomsen finished with 10 points for Norwich, who return to action Thursday against Union-Endicott.
Owego: Stephen Yanchus 6 7-8-19; Matt Warchocki, 10 1-1-22; Jake Shelley, 3 2-4-8; Zach Thomas, 0 ; Tyler Ford, 2 2-4-7; Brandon Hathaway, 3 0-0-7; Mest, 0; Pickett, 0. Totals: 24 12-17-63.
Norwich: Kyle Edwards, 7 3-4-22; Danny Carson, 1 0-0-3; Dennis Oralls, 4 10-14-18; Michael Sutton, 2 3-4-7; Grady Thompson, 0; Seth Thomsen, 5 0-0-10; Ian Weaver, 0; Eric Walling, 2 0-0-5; Storm Cook, 1 0-0-2; Grant Brightman, 2 0-0-4; Michael D’Abbraccio, 1 0-0-2. Totals: 25 16-22-73.
Ow. 11 22 14 16–63
NHS 25 22 12 14–73
Fouled out: none. Three-point goals: (N) Edwards 5, Carson, Walling. (O) Warchocki, Ford, Hathaway. JV: Norwich won 75-50. Officials: Bennett, Coleman.
Otselic Valley 60, DeRuyter 40
SOUTH OTSELIC – Otselic Valley improved its record to 12-4 Friday night beating DeRuyter for the second time this season.