Norwich brings the intensity in rout of Saints

Evening Sun Report

Boys’ Basketball

Norwich 75, Seton Catholic Central 31

NORWICH – This score will open a few eyes.

In a matchup of STAC division leaders, Norwich won every minute of every quarter running away from the Saints in lopsided fashion Wednesday night..

Seton Catholic Central entered the game with 10 wins and a six-game winning streak in tow. It’s not likely Norwich head coach Tom Collier forecasted such a propitious result for his ballclub.

And it’s a fair statement to say this was the best Norwich has played all season. It shot a season-best 58 percent from the field, forced a good Seton team into 30 turnovers, and had 20 team steals.

“We were hoping for something like this,” said Norwich coach Tom Collier. “Our defensive intensity was high in our previous game against Chenango Forks, and we continued that tonight. “We really, really wore (Seton) down.”

Jamison Luke led Norwich with 20 points, Zan Stewart had another stat-stuffing effort with 13 points, seven boards, and six assists, and Tre Bonham came off the bench for 12 points to go with three steals.

Speaking of the reserves, the six young men off the bench – a group that welcomed back Cameron Edwards – had 29 points, two shy of Seton’s total output. It was, indeed, a complete performance, and one that should put Norwich in good stead as it moves forward toward the postseason.

“If we play with this type of intensity, we’re going to be a tough out,” Collier said. “The nonstop pressure we have in place is tough for teams to handle.”

Norwich missed some early shots around the basket, but still finished the opening quarter on a 10-2 run to lead 17-4. Bonham, appropriately tossed in a trey during the salvo, and a blocked shot by Colin Stewart initiated a driving layup by Zan Stewart that was one for the highlight reels.

Stewart contorted his body and switched hands in mid-air for a lefty layup. Later in the first half, Zan Stewart threw down a dunk that gave Norwich its first 20-point lead, 34-14, and Luke finished off the half with a pair of inside buckets.

Most teams with 21-point halftime leads let off the gas. Norwich clearly did not. With the starters about to cede their spots on the floor to the second unit, Norwich formulated another big run, this one a 15-3 ditty to end the quarter.

Stewart hit an inside leaner with 35 seconds left in the quarter, then fed Jordan Vinal for a trifecta at the top of the key leaving the count at 57-26 with eight minutes left to play.

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