Oneonta 58, Norwich 52
ONEONTA – Norwich suffered its first league loss and first defeat to a Section IV Class B school in three seasons Thursday night at Oneonta.
George Foti had a four-point play early in the fourth, and hit another three that raised the lead to 50-39 with 3:15 remaining as the Yellowjackets held off the Purple Tornado.
“Any time you play over at Oneonta, it’s a tough game,” said Norwich coach Tom Collier. “We survived over there last year, and this year we didn’t.”
Foti scored 18 points for the Yellowjackets, who have just four losses on the season. One of those was a 16-point defeat at Norwich when the Tornado had a relatively easy time putting the ball in the basket.
Coming off a subpar third quarter in which it scored just six points, Norwich didn’t eclipse the 40-point mark until the final three minutes of the game. Junior Carlos Ithier led a furious NHS rally scoring 13 points in the final period on his way to a season- and career-high 18 points.
“Carlos played really well and he tried to put us on his back in the fourth quarter,” Collier said. “He does all of the dirty work covering the other team’s best guard. Tonight he really shined.”
Ithier’s play was one of the few bright spots for Norwich, Collier said, who gave up several key offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter when it was trying to rally, and was consistently beaten to 50-50 loose balls.
“We couldn’t match Oneonta’s emotion or intensity tonight, and that’s a credit to them,” Collier said. “Our defense wasn’t there tonight and we were a step slow...Oneonta played well and deserved to win.”
A key spurt early in the fourth keyed the ‘Jackets’ victory. After Zan Stewart’s three cut the Oneonta lead to 39-37, Foti responded with his “and-one” three-pointer in which he was fouled while making a three ball.
Noah Sheehan had two buckets during an 11-2 spurt, and Sheehan finished with 12 points. “It was their senior night and they came out and played with the mission of beating Norwich, and they did,” Collier said of Oneonta.
In the junior varsity game, Michael Carson hit the game-winning basket with six seconds left in a 54-52 victory. Carson scored 22 to lead the Tornado juniors, Dashawn King added 15, and Ky’sawn Veale added 12.
Norwich: Jake Walsh, 2 0 -0-6; Michael Oralls, 2 2-4-6; Carlos Ithier, 5 6-6-18; Cameron Edwards, 0 Colin Stewart, 2 1-2-5; Zan Stewart, 3 0-0-7; Tre Bonham, 1 2-4-4; Jordan Vinal, 0; Jamison Luke, 3 0-0-6. Totals: 18 11-16-52.
Oneonta: David Wessells, 2 0-0-4; Daniel Njoku, 2 0-1-4; Skylar Thompson, 0 1-2-1; George Foti, 5 4-6-18; Brock Eichler, 0 2-2-2; Noah Sheehan, 5 2-3-12; Albert Odero, 4 3-7-11; Josh Davi, 1 1-3-4; Willy Harrison, 1 0-0-2. Totals: 20 13-24-58.
Nor. 12 14 6 20–52
Onta. 12 17 10 19–58
Fouled out: (N) Bonham. Three-point goals: (N) Walsh 2, Ithier 2, Z. Stewart. (O) Foti 4, Davi. JV: Norwich won 54-52.
Sherburne-Earlville 55, Central Valley Academy 28
ILION – A 19-4 third quarter put the game out of reach as Sherburne-Earlville doubled up Central Valley Academy Thursday.
Ben Khoury had eight points in the third including a three, and Brady Elderkin nailed both of his three balls to push the lead to 47-21. “We switched to a zone in the third quarter, and we really got out and ran in transition,” said S-E coach Kevin Vibbard. “We had a lot of ball pressure, and turned them over quite a few times.”
Khoury and Gavin Giroux had 14 points apiece to led S-E, who host Camden tonight. The junior varsity game starts at 5 p.m.