By Robert Jeffrey
Sun Sports Contributor
Frank Speziale Photo
BINGHAMTON – For the first time in six years the Norwich Purple Tornado were not the favorite to win the Section IV Class B title.
Despite being the number one seed in the sectional playoffs, Norwich remained off of the New York State Sports Writers list of ranked Class B Boys basketball teams. Upon viewing multiple polls on various social media outlets, the Tornado remained a staggered underdog.
That underdog tone faded as Norwich stormed the court in the second half continuing their Section IV dynastic cycle winning five of the last six Class B titles-claiming the 49-35 victory over the eighth-ranked Wolverines of Waverly – winners of their last 21 games.
On Friday March 3, the Tornado (18-6), struggled in the first quarter among the bright lights of the Veteran’s Memorial Arena allowing Waverly to take an early 11-7 lead.
The script soon flipped on Waverly as they suddenly began to reel backwards, as the Tornado defensive pressure increased. A steal by Norwich’s Ky’sawn Veale caught a break for the Tornado. Veale drove into the lane missing a tightly contested layup – only for trailing Tornado teammate Chris Jeffrey to corral one of his 20 rebounds in the game. With one hand and all in one motion Jeffrey flushed it down the iron, to tie the contest at 14 with 2:27 left to go in the second period.
Waverly refused to go quietly as a Gavin Judson three-ball pushed the Wolverines ahead 17-14 with under two minutes to play. Norwich cut the game to one point with a Dashawn King jumper with 1:29 left and a pair of Jeffrey free-throws allowed the Tornado to regain the lead 18-17 going into halftime.