Evening Sun Report
Norwich 4, Owego 3
OWEGO - Norwich avenged its only loss of the season, and validated its 2011 Section IV Class B team title by winning the STAC Central Division title Wednesday afternoon at Owego.
Each team had three wins in the bank with the outcome of the fourth singles match determining the outcome. Norwich junior Grant Brightman, a first-year varsity player, overcame deficits in each set to pull out the victory defeating Matt Wieckhorst, 7-5, 7-5. Just moments earlier, the Tornado’s second doubles team, Bill Whaley and Julian Gillner, pulled out a three-set victory to set the stage for Brightman’s decisive team point.
“Winning the sectional title was great because you take your best players there,” said Norwich coach John Stewart. “The division title has always been elusive for us. It’s special when you see all 17 kids on the team pushing, watching, and cheering on their teammates. This was the thing I wanted the kids to experience...from the first day of practice, they worked together and pushed each other. All of the kids played important roles and pushed themselves to heights they didn’t think they could reach.”
Norwich dropped a 5-2 final in its first matchup with Owego, but avenged three of those defeats – two in singles. Matt Craig, who lost 6-3, 6-1 to Owego’s Tyler Stickler the first time around, rolled to a 6-0, 6-4 victory at second singles. Brightman also flipped an earlier loss as did Whaley and Gillner. “Matt knew he could play better, and he showed why he was our number two player all year long,” Stewart said.