Frank Speziale Photo
NORWICH – Earlier this season, the game between long-time rivals of Norwich and Oneonta was lopsided in favor of the Yellowjackets. The two teams were separated by 20-plus points. Friday night was a totally different story.
Oneonta’s Teddy McGraw scored the first basket of the game and was followed by a deep three-pointer from teammate Graham Wooden, giving the Yellowjackets a 5-1 lead early. For a few minutes, the game went basket for basket at each end of the floor. That was until Norwich’s Marcus Cashman unleashed the long-range attack.
Cashman hit his first in the Oneonta defender’s face, tying the game at 8-8. The Yellowjackets answered with a bucket and a three ball of their own, taking a 13-8 lead.
Again, Cashman answered with a three as he cut the lead down to two points. The next offensive possession for the Purple Tornado resulted with another Cashman three as he caught fire. His third three gave Norwich their first lead of the contest. Oneonta again took the lead back, closing the first eight minutes out 17-16.
Cashman had 11 straight points in the first quarter for the Purple, keeping the game within reach.
The atmosphere for the game was one of the old days with the student section standing and cheering loudly while the fans were also engaging. But McGraw quickly put a stop to that at the beginning of the second as he took the Norwich turnover and threw the fast break dunk down, rattling the rim.