Sun Staff Writer
JOHNSON CITY – Norwich Girls Basketball lost their first game of the season, falling to 6-1 on the season, following a game that went to four overtime periods.
“Four, four minute overtimes, so we actually played a game and half if you think about it,” said Norwich Head Coach Josh Bennett, “the overtime periods are only four minutes in length, but it feels like they’re about 25 minutes, because every play is all you have in the tank.”
Despite a late push by the Norwich Tornado late in the fourth overtime period, the girls fell short to lose to Johnson City Wild Cats 84-81.
“It was definitely the most exciting basketball game I have ever been a part of,” said Bennett.
Norwich would lead only slightly at the half, by a score of two points, as the score was set at 29 to 27. Following an extremely close first half, Johnson City fight to notch the game at the end of the third at 38 points a piece.
“I don’t think the lead ever changed more than seven points or so, we were actually down though with two minutes left in regulation,” said Bennett, “With about seven seconds in regulation, we tried to run something at the top, but we didn’t really get a good look, we had a chance to win it but that took us to overtime.”
The Tornado and Wild Cats would again tie the score at the end of regulation at 51 a piece.
Bennett explained the back and forth theatrics throughout the overtime periods, “The first overtime period we had a two point lead to win with about 10, 11 seconds left. One of their better scorers, Vivian Ladd, made a fall away jump shot from the left side and it ended up going in.”
To carry the game into its final overtime period Bennett recounted how senior Bridget Murphy netted a three point shot to knot the score for the final time as time expired in the third OT.
“We were down 3 with seven or 8 seconds left, we ran a nice play to get Bridget a shot, she made a 3 to push it to the fourth overtime,” said Bennett.
The final overtime period saw Norwich fall behind early. This early hole proved to be slightly too much of a deficit to climb out of.
“We just kind struggled to defend a bit in the fourth overtime. They got a bunch of offensive rebounds,” said Bennett, “you can’t play a game and a half basically and not make some mistakes, we just have got to sure things up in terms of our defensive rebounding.”
Following this loss, the girls will have a chance to regroup and rest for the Christmas holiday, before they jump right back on the court as they will travel to the Onondaga Community College Christmas Tournament this coming Monday and Tuesday.
Norwich will face another great challenge, as they will faceoff against Rush-Henrietta in the first round of the four-team tournament, a team who lost in state finals last year for AA schools.
“I’m not even sure how my kids were standing up at the end of the game. I am extremely proud of the way we persevered, there was just no quit. I couldn’t have asked anymore from my kids tonight that’s for sure, they had nothing in the tank,” said Bennett.
Team statistics: Norwich: Taylor Hansen, 4 0-0-8; Kara Evans, 1 1-2-3; Kassidy Seary, 4 0-0-8; Makenzie Maynard, 3 5-7-11; Meghan Komendarek, 8 6-8-22; Bridget Murphy, 8 2-5-20; Shelby Benjamin, 3 2-4-9. Johnson City: Thomas, 4 0-0-10; Chilson, 6 0-0-18; Burdick, 6 0-2-12; Stetts, 4 0-3-8; Yarborough, 3 9-16-16; Bradham, 2 1-5-6; Weiss, 1 0-0-2; Ladd, 4 7-8-15.
Score by quarter:
Team 1 2 3 4 OT Total
Norwich 13 16 9 13 30 81
Johnson City 12 15 11 13 33 84