Norwich 54, Oneonta 32
NORWICH –The ibuprofen must have kicked in for Norwich during halftime.
Riddled by illness all week, the Norwich lineup resembled the walking dead throughout the first half. It was a far cry from the group of young men that was vivacious and tenacious in a Tom Schwan tournament win last weekend.
“We don’t like to make excuses, but we just didn’t play with any energy in the first half,” said Norwich head coach Tom Collier. “But we talk about coming out and playing a strong third quarter, and we did what we needed to do. Obviously we didn’t think we would outscore them 19-1.”
Norwich’s defense was sparked by Danny Carson, Mike Oralls, and Kyle Edwards during the third-quarter salvo. Carson had four of his seven steals, Oralls held first-half scoring leader Alec Picinich without a point, and Edwards did not allow OHS’s leading scorer this season Paul Bischoff to score.
Edwards drove for the opening basket of the second half 13 seconds in, and Carson followed with five straight points driving for a layup, then converting a three-point play after a steal and layup. Edwards scored six more points during the quarter, and Mike Sutton finished the quarter with a hesitation dribble and blow-by layup.
Sutton canned two threes in the fourth quarter and led Norwich with 13 points, while Carson finished with a career-high 12.
“We obviously didn’t have much on offense, but no matter how poorly you play on offense, you can make up for that by continuing to play good defense,” Collier said. “We turned it up in the third quarter like we seem to do, and obviously it was our defense that was the big key.”