Frank Speziale Photo
Sun Sports Contributor
NORWICH – Sometimes the best offense is the best defense. And while this game consisted of some crafty passing, timely shots, and well thought out offensive schemes, the highlights of the Tornado’s 67-53 win over STAC East Divisional opponent Chenango Forks was the defensive effort by the Purple Tornado.
Ah yes, there is nothing better than points that come by the venue of hard work. Which is precisely what happened in the first half of the game as the Blue Devils and Tornado each exchanged baskets in a tic for tat basketball chess match. Norwich’s Michael Carson took the first stanza by storm as he executed on a series of drives to the iron and long-range jumpers scoring 10 of his 14 points early in the contest. With Carson as the main Norwich offensive weapon of choice, the Blue Devils defense did their best to limit his offensive-touches.
But nevertheless, the Tornado cagers took a look into their offensive arsenal and primed another set of scoring machines; J.T. Vinal and Marcus Cashman. And while Vinal and Cashman scored seven and six points respectively within the second period, Vinal found another running mate on the defensive end; Drew Walsh. Walsh playing the role of the ‘hustler’ on the court emulated his role-playing position perfectly. The defensive pressure of the Tornado caused the Blue Devils to fumble passes, lose their dribble and miss out on 50-50 basketballs. With Cashman and Vinal orchestrating the offense, and the tantalizing tandem of Vinal and Walsh wreaking havoc on defense the Tornado took a commanding 36-23 lead.
Yet Chenango Forks refused to go down quietly. The Blue Devils cut the game within single digits early in the third and at first glance it appeared Forks had found their scoring rhythm. But the Tornado managed to keep their opposition at arm’s length as their defense fed their offense as the Blue Devils struggled to get through the teeth of the Tornado defense as Norwich extended their lead to 52-36 to end the quarter.
The final period proved to be Fork’s last stand as they started the period out by trying to cut into the Tornado lead. Leading the offensive charge for Norwich was the combo of Carson Maynard and JT Vinal who each took their respective turns creating offensive looks for the Tornado. Ultimately, the Blue Devils finally succumbed to their eventual 67-53 setback. Stephen Shepard led the Blue Devils with 16 points and Bryan Haskell scored 15 points in the loss for Forks. As for the Purple Tornado, three players finished in double-figures with Vinal leading the way in the scoring department with 16 points, Carson scored 14 points, and Cashman with 13 points...