ENDICOTT – Norwich's homogeneous approach to the offense and defense had a breakout performance in the club's biggest game to date.
Senior Michael Oralls posted a game-high 22 points, every one of those integers needed in the Purple Tornado's 57-47 Southern Tier Athletic Conference championship game victory over Binghamton, Friday night at Union-Endicott High School.
The victory made it two straight league titles for Norwich, who also repeated as conference champions in 1993 and 1994.
Oralls' unique manner of scoring the basketball begged the question: Do you practice those scoops, floaters, and makeshift hook shots. "No, not really," Oralls said after the game. But had he seen those types of shots at some point? "I guess."
Oralls starred on offense, but it was the collective defense efforts of the primary eight men who wore the purple jerseys that made Oralls' points on the other end more meaningful, especially in the fourth quarter.
The prolific Patriots, who regularly score better than two points a minute, had quarters in which they scored just five and six points. Most significant was that latter six in the final eight minutes of play. Norwich had a precarious 41-39 lead entering the final period, that due to some fine outside shooting by Bingo in the third quarter.
“They got it going a little bit in the third quarter, and a lot of that was due to our turnovers,” said Norwich coach Tom Collier.
Sabast Doski hit a bomb from two feet beyond the three-point line to start the third quarter, Kyhil Pinkney, typically a drive-to-the-basket slasher, drained an unexpected three on the next possession, and for the rest of quarter, Norwich's stingy defense had trouble plugging holes.