By Robert Jeffrey
Sun Sports Contributor
Frank Speziale Photo
NORWICH – With irregularly warm February temperatures outside, it was difficult to tell if it was the heat in Jack Jones gymnasium or the anxiety and magnitude of the basketball game that NHS fans were forced to sweat out as the Norwich Purple Tornado girls basketball team stuck to the script that provided them their last two victories over Oneonta; keep the game close and clinch the win in the fourth quarter.
Oneonta drew first blood in opening the scoring in the game, on Feb. 24, with a two point basket from Athena Basdekis 40 seconds into the contest that ultimately set the tone for the visiting Yellowjackets – they refused to be denied for a third consecutive game.
The Tornado struggled offensively in the first quarter putting up seven points – four of which came from Makenzie Maynard who helped keep NHS within striking range as Oneonta led 8-7 after the first eight minutes of action.
With the same fervor and grit the Yellowjacket offensive attack scrapped, picking up loose balls and getting on the boards looking for second chance points, but were unable convert on those chances due to an equally aggressive Tornado defense.
With a relatively methodic offensive attack for both teams, the pace of play didn’t pick up until half-way through the second period as both clubs picked up the offensive muscle.