Norwich can clinch third straight division title tonight

When Norwich won its second Section IV title of the decade two seasons ago, even that team did not have the type of record this deep into the season as the current crop of Tornado ballers. In fact, most people may have figured – after, back-to-back outstanding seasons in which the Tornado won a combined 38 games – that this season the longtime successful program would take a step backward.

Not so.

There are teams in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference that have comparable overall records to the Tornado, but no club has a better overall record. “These guys have put in a lot of time and effort,” said Norwich 25th-year coach Mark Abbott. “If people haven’t had the opportunity to see these guys play, they are missing out on something. These guys epitomize the word team from the number one guy to number 13. It would be great to play in front of a great crowd.”

Abbott’s hope for a big crowd refers to Norwich’s pivotal STAC Central Division showdown with second-place Johnson City tonight at 7:45 p.m.. Norwich came back from a slow start against JC in the initial meeting to edge the Wildcats, 66-63. The win is the one-game lead Norwich presently holds over Johnson City, and Norwich can clinch the division outright with a victory. A Tornado loss, and each team will head back to the floor later in the week for a one-game playoff to determine the division champion.

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