Norwich, Oxford, OV advance in playoffs

Boys’ Basketball

Norwich 70, Elmira Free Academy 41

ELMIRA – It would be hard to top Norwich’s performance Saturday night at Elmira Free Academy.

Playing on the road against a higher seeded team, the Tornado relied on balanced scoring and fundamentally sound defense to dispatch the Blue Devils in lopsided fashion.

Next up for the Purple and White is a date in the Section IV Class A championship game against Elmira Southside Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Broome County Arena. Norwich, who has not lost to a Class A team this season in compiling a 19-3 record, beat the Green Hornets less than two weeks ago, 66-55 at Jack Jones Gymnasium.

“This was probably our best all-around performance of the year,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott.

Senior Timmy Clark drew a team-record 13th defensive charge early in the game laying the groundwork for a stingy defense, and Clark’s three ball at the first-quarter buzzer left the Tornado in front, 14-10.

Norwich started the second stanza on an 11-4 spurt, and led by double digits the rest of the way. Richie Bonney led four NHS players in double figures scoring 15 off the bench. Clark added 12, Josh Borfitz 11, and David Carson 10 for Norwich.

“After Timmy hit that three, from that point on, we pretty much dominated,” Abbott said. “We had great offensive balance. Of our four leading scorers tonight, our two leading scorers (Corey Dietrich and Vaughn Labor) weren’t any of those four.”

Norwich also mixed three types of zone defense allowing EFA a mere 25 points through three quarters. The 41 points was the fewest the Blue Devils scored this season, and nearly 20 points under their season scoring average. “From the scouting reports I had, they said you had to play zone against (EFA) because they’re so good on penetration and putbacks,” Abbott said. “Being able to take them out of any offensive rhythm was frustrating to them.”

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