Norwich defense stalls M-E

Evening Sun Report

Boys’ Basketball

Norwich 53, Maine-Endwell 49

NORWICH – Norwich relied on its defense and received key contributions from Patrick Coates and Keegan Edwards to win its Southern Tier Athletic Conference opener Wednesday and improve to 3-0.

Coates’ shining moment of the season was an ubiquitous fourth-quarter display of rebounding, steals, big shots, and two clinching free throws in the final seconds. Meanwhile, Edwards, making his first career start, scored 13 points in the first half helping NHS stake itself to a 33-23 lead.

“Our defense played extremely well, particularly the fourth quarter,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott. “We had a lot of key defensive stops; whether our offense was sputtering and spitting, the defense was a constant.”

Coates lifted Norwich out of its third-quarter offensive funk with two early fourth-quarter layups, both off passes from senior guard Robert Martin.

Clinging to a one-point lead with under three minutes to play, Norwich missed on the offensive end and M-E gathered the rebound. Coates, however, stole the ensuing outlet pass giving the Tornado possession. Coates then buried a three ball lifting the margin to 49-45.

Edwards put back aan offensive rbound with 1:46 to play to extend the lead by two more points, and Coates canned two free throws icing the win. “Going into the season, we thought we had a lot of evenly matched players in terms of what they can do,” Abbott said. “Each game we have to go with who is playing the best, and tonight that seemed to be Keegan and Patrick.”

Coates finished with 12 points for Norwich, who play unbeaten Oneonta next Wednesday.

M-E: S. Yeager, 0 2-2-2; R. Armstrong, 0; Ryan Fetterman, 2 0-0-4; J. Powell, 5 1-3-11; Brad Kuzawinski, 4 5-8-13; Dan Okesson, 0; Corey Adrian, 1 2-4-4; John Zdimal, 5 0-1-11; Kevin Chelak, 1 0-0-2; Marcus Spera, 1 0-0-2. Totals: 19 10-18-49.

Norwich: Shane Thompson, 1 0-0-3; Chris Mattingly, 1 0-0-2; Patrick Coates, 4 3-4-12; Keegan Edwards, 7 1-5-15; Nate Foote, 0 0-1-0; Robert Martin, 2 4-5-8; Vaughn Labor, 1 0-2-2; Tyler Saroka, 2 0-0-4; Justin Ballin, 1 0-1-2; Amos Parry, 2 1-2-5; Craig Berg, 0 0-0-0. Totals: 21 9-20-53.

Score by quarters

M-E 13 10 15 9–49

NHS 14 19 7 13–53

Fouled out: none. Team fouls: (N) 16, (ME) 17. three-pointers; (N) Coates, Thompson, (ME) Zdimal. JV: Norwich won 69-53. Officials: Ciccirelli, Cavanaugh.

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