NORWICH – The fourth quarter was a prototypical offensive performance for Norwich Tuesday night against Maine-Endwell. Every player used his dribble to create offensive opportunities, every player found the scoring column, and as it turned out, every one of those points scored were needed.
The Tornado, second-place for most of this season in the STAC Central Division, moved into a tie for first after dealing the Spartans their first league loss of the season, 55-53, before a full house at Jack Jones Gymnasium.
The only remaining business on Norwich’s league schedule is a Friday date at Owego. A victory there, and NHS will likely meet M-E for a third time this season. The Spartans, themselves, need to defeat Oneonta next week to earn their share of the division championship.
“The effort and intensity that went into this game was just phenomenal from both sides,” said Norwich coach Mark Abbott.
Norwich seemed to be in control when it took a 52-43 lead with 2:17 left in the fourth after a pair of Derek Hughes free throws. Hughes’ charity tosses were a direct result of his own defensive wizardry on the previous sequence. After a Norwich turnover, Hughes raced down the floor to squelch a sure-fire M-E fast break with a steal.