Nearly-perfect Norwich tough to beat

Norwich boys’ basketball coach Tom Collier has heard the comparisons to the 1993-1994 sectional championship teams that went on to win Class B state titles. Collier’s Purple Tornado won their second straight Section IV title Saturday night against Whitney Point. While this year’s corps of purple and white-clad cagers matched the basketball program’s feat of two decades ago, Collier said any resemblance between the two groups of teams begins and ends with the twin titles.

“That was a once-in-a-lifetime group of players, and a special, special team,” Collier said of the state championship team, one that gained induction into the Norwich Athletics Hall of Fame two years ago. “They had size, speed...they had it all. We’re nothing compared to them.”

Those state championship teams averaged nearly 80 points a game one season, won games by an average of more than 20 points per game, and racked up a combined 56-2 record winning two Class B state titles and one Federation title. The 2012-2013 teams have a combined 33-10 record, a 77 percent winning percentage that is among the upper echelon of Section IV over the past two seasons. Still, the 2012 club departed the state playoffs in the first round, and who knows how far this year’s club will progress.

“What we have had the past two years is getting the most out of our players,” Collier said. “That’s been our recipe for success. We analyze our strengths and weaknesses, and try to utilize each of our players’ strengths.”

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