Norwich 83, Chenango Forks 32
NORWICH – Norwich recognized its four seniors Friday night, Storm Cook had that long-awaited dunk, and the Purple Tornado officially punched their ticket into the STAC playoffs routing visiting Chenango Forks.
The Blue Devils put up mild resistance in the opening part of the first quarter, and the initial 90 seconds of the second quarter. The rest of the opening half – make that the rest of the game – the purple-clad home club operated as the steamroller, while the Blue Devils were the freshly-flattened pavement.
Zan Stewart scored 17 points for Norwich, Cook added 13 markers, the last two a two-handed breakaway dunk early in the third quarter, and Michael Sutton scored 12. Sutton was also front and center with a series of nifty passes that led to buckets, and he led NHS with eight assists and four steals. Matt Burke and Michael D’Abbracio joined in the assistfest that had Chenango Forks reeling. Burke contributed seven assists and D’Abbraccio had five helpers.
“We shot the ball very well tonight and played with a lot of energy. It was nice to have the seniors do well on senior night,” said Norwich coach Tom Collier. “We shot 59 percent tonight as a team and 42 percent behind the arc. If we can shoot like that, we are going to be hard to beat.”
Jake Stone hit a three for Chenango Forks with 6:45 left in the first quarter giving his club its only lead, 5-3. Norwich swung the momentum so quickly and so devastatingly, if you were a few minutes late, you never would’ve known it was a tight game in the opening minutes.
Cook hit a corner three off a pass from Burke that set off a 12-point spurt in just 90 seconds. The run was extended to 19-0 when Carlos Ithier hit the first of his three treys in the game to make it 22-5.
Chenango Forks slowly crept back into striking range. Andrew Ziegenfus drove for a layup cutting the Norwich lead to 26-15 less than a minute into the second quarter. Norwich’s response? Thirteen straight points.
Burke scored on a layup after a thread-the-needle 30-foot bounce pass from Sutton. Mike Oralls had back-to-back layups, Stewart canned a three from the corner, and Cook gathered an alley-oop pass from Sutton that he softly banked in raising the NHS lead to 39-17.
On the heels of a strong finish to the first half, Norwich started the second half on a 14-1 run on its way to its most lopsided victory of the season.
“The biggest stat tonight was our 28 total assists,” Collier said. “It shows the unselfishness of our team. We moved the ball well against their zone and also found the gaps to drive and dish when we had the opportunity.”
Norwich (15-0) concludes its regular season Wednesday at Windsor.
Norwich’s junior varsity team improved to 13-2 with a 70-59 victory. Jake Walsh had 18 points and six assists, Jordan Vinal posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards, and Chris Jeffrey totaled 12 points to go with six rebounds.
CF: Rob Story, 2 1-2-5; Logan Hall, 0; Chad Raychel, 0 5-6-5; Dan Gridley, 0 0-2-0; Andrew Ziegenfus, 3 2-2-9; Jake Stone, 1 2-2-5; Trevor Borchardt, 2 4-8-8; L.J. Watson, 0. Totals: 8 14-22-32.
Norwich: Brendon Budd, 1 0-0-2; Michael Oralls, 4 0-0-8; Mike Sutton, 5 1-2-12; Chris Trevisani, 0; Carlos Ithier, 3 0-0-9; Colin Stewart, 2 0-0-4; Zan Stewart, 6 3-4-17; Matt Craig, 1 2-2-5; Matt Burke, 4 0-0-8; Storm Cook, 6 0-0-13; Mike D’Abbraccio, 1 0-0-2; Jamison Luke, 1 1-2-3. Totals: 34 7-10-83.
CFks 11 6 5 10–32
NHS 26 19 25 13–83
Fouled out: none. Three-point goals: (CF) Ziegenfus, Stone, (N) Ithier 3, Z. Stewart 2, Sutton, Craig, Stewart. JV: Norwich won 70-59. Officials: Springer, Haynes.
Sherburne-Earlville 51, Canastota 30
SHERBURNE – Sheburne-Earlville made sure its post-game celebration was not an anti-climatic event.
Moments after beating Canastota Friday night, the Marauders kept the emotions high cutting down the home nets to celebrate a third straight Midstate Athletic Conference championship.