Playing Peekskill not a new experience for Purple Tornado

POUGHKEEPSIE – You cannot argue with success – or results. By those two measures, Norwich is playing the Goliath of all Goliaths when it faces Peekskill tonight at 8 p.m. at Vassar College in the Class A state playoffs.

Red Devils head coach Lou Panzanaro is a legend in Section I with over 500 career wins. He has led a dozen and a half Peekskill teams to Section I titles – including the last five.

Among the standouts over the years include NBA players Elton Brand of Philadelphia, and 2002 Peekskill graduate, Hilton Armstrong. Armstrong starred for Peekskill when it defeated Norwich in lopsided fashion.

“Peekskill is just a factory that keeps producing great basketball players,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott, who is no stranger to postseason play or the state playoffs. It’s the fourth state trip for NHS under Abbott’s tutelage including back-to-back Class B state titles in 1993 and 1994. “They are Peekskill and they present a tremendous challenge, but at the same time it is also a tremendous opportunity for us.”

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