LeMoyne title highlights Norwich’s offseason hoops campaign

NORWICH – Seth Thomsen hit two free throws in the final minute and Cory Dietrich added the critical winning point from the free throw line with under 10 seconds to play in a 49-48 Norwich victory over Jamesville-DeWitt at the LeMoyne Team Camp Tournament earlier this summer.

Check that: Norwich beats Jamesville-Dewitt?

A quick Google search on the Internet revealed that J-D was the New York State Class A state champion in Glens Falls last March. It was a team that blew out East Hampton in the finals, and rolled over perennial power Peekskill in the semis. Many of those championship players have moved on, or in the case of prodigy Brandon Triche, were not on hand at LeMoyne. Still, J-D is a “program” in the truest sense of the word, and will be darn good this coming season.

The win over J-D and the tournament run was the culmination of an excellent offseason of basketball for the Norwich-based squad.

Beginning with a 22-game AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) schedule, and followed by team camp tournaments and summer league schedules in Norwich and Johnson City, Norwich finished with an impressive 55 victories in 69 games.

It wasn’t a slate of cupcake matchups either as the LeMoyne title attests. Norwich weathered a difficult AAU schedule playing all-star squads that usually drew its players regionally rather than a single town. And with a group of young men made up entirely of NHS students, it went 12-10 overall, said head coach Mark Abbott. The arduous AAU slate paved the way for a propitious finale. Doing the math, Norwich was 43-4 in its post-AAU contests. “Playing that many games will not guarantee you success later on,” Abbott warned. “You need to have the right mix of players and you need to find the happy medium of not overworking them and not underworking them.”

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