My mom used to make this casserole the day after Thanksgiving. It was layered with the scraps of turkey that were passed over from the previous day, day-old mashed potatoes and stuffing, and topped with congealed gravy. Oh, and she may have added a crumbly topping that served as a crust. The mixture sat in our refrigerator until it was baked for dinner.
Admittedly, it didn’t look all that appetizing, but the final product was delicious. My mom made the best of what she had, and the same can be said of the Norwich’s basketball team.
We’re now three days removed from the Purple Tornado’s one-point loss to Westhill. Norwich was agonizingly close to reaching the final four for the first time in 19 years. It had a shot at making the winning basket, but never got that shot off.
It was the final scholastic high school basketball game for seniors Grant Brightman, Danny Carson, and Kyle Edwards. Those who remain will soon return to work for the offseason AAU tournaments and subsequent summer league. It’s nearly a 12-month grind for high school basketball players; a necessity these days to maintain the excellence of a sports program.
And Norwich has indeed been excellent the last two years, that despite a first impression comparable to my mom’s pre-cooked turkey casserole. “Everyone on our team had their weaknesses, but they also all had their strengths,” said Norwich head coach Tom Collier. “Together, those strengths overrode the weaknesses. You saw that in effort, heart, and desire.”