Oneonta 53, Norwich 46
NORWICH – Norwich’s furious fourth-quarter comeback fell shy in its season-opening game Tuesday evening
Oneonta, the perennial defending Section IV Class B champions, stalled the Tornado’s momentum hitting five out of six free throws over the final 48 seconds. Division I recruit Mariah Ruff had three of those charity tosses to finish with a game-high 30 points.
After Norwich scored the first basket of the second half, Oneonta ripped off nine straight points to grab its biggest lead of the game, 37-21. Ruff, who had 20 in the first half, deferred to her teammates until the latter stages of the fourth quarter.
Brittany Herrick had five of the ‘Jackets’ points in the third quarter, and Oneonta cruised into the fourth quarter with a 40-27 lead.
Norwich chipped away at the deficit behind the scoring of Kassidy Seary and Breanna Cashman. Seary came off the bench to score eight of her 12 points in the fourth, and Cashman had six of her 14 in the final quarter.
Down 46-37, Seary scored on back-to-back sequences, and Shelby Benjamin canned a 15-footer from the right baseline drawing the host club to 46-43 with just under two minutes to play.
Oneonta answered two possessions later with four straight foul shots – two from Meg Burns and two from Ruff.
After Ruff, no other Oneonta player scored more than six points.
In the junior varsity contest, Norwich picked up a 37-24 win. Bridget Murphy scored 13 and Kara Evans 11 to lead NHS.
Oneonta: Abby Picinich, 0; Kendall Gillette, 0; Brie Baker, 3 0-0-6; Ceili Getman, 0; Meg Burns, 1 3-4-5; Rachel Wessells, 0 0-2-0; Mariah Ruff, 8 11-12-30; Brittney Herrick, 2 2-4-6; Maria DiMartin, 2 0-0-4; Gabby Richardson, 0 2-2-2; Madison Miller, 0. Totals: 16 18-24-53.
Norwich: Carin Kuhn, 2 0-0-5; Caitlyn Brown, 0; Breanna Cashman, 5 1-2-14; Alexis Race, 0; Jennifer Borfitz, 2 3-4-9; Kassidy Seary, 5 2-3-12; Makenzie Maynard, 0; Meghan Komendarek, 1 0-4-2; Ashley Murphy, 0; Savannah Williams, 0; Shelby Benjamin, 2 0-2-4; Courtney Scheer, 0. Totals: 17 6-15-46