NORWICH – Officially, the absence of a fourth team left the annual Pennyaver tournament without a champion. Unofficially, Norwich can assert itself as champions beating New Hartford on Friday and Utica Proctor on Saturday.
Norwich had four players in the nine- to 13-point range in a 64-40 victory over New Hartford, and followed that up with an 11-point victory over an athletic Proctor club, 44-33.
The tournament was reduced to four teams when Vestal bowed out of the tournament two weeks ago citing a conflict of school activities.
The host Tornado remained undeterred in winning their game third straight game. “Even though it was our lowest point total of the season, I thought it was the best we played offensively,” said Norwich coach Josh Bennett after the win over Utica. “We just didn’t finish easy baskets.”
Saturday’s game remained on the docket despite a wintry mix that canceled events across the area. The adverse conditions Proctor braved to reach Norwich were no more difficult than solving a stingy NHS defense that allowed just 11 points in the first half.
Ahead by four entering the second quarter, Norwich did not allow a field goal in the second stanza, and stretched the lead out to 11 by halftime. Kassidy Seary scored on a pair of early layups to begin a 6-0 run at the quarter’s outset, and four consecutive free throws from Breanna Cashman and Meghan Komendarek closed the half.