NORWICH – The clash between the two long-time rivals Norwich and Oneonta was a game of scoring spurts and momentum shifts all night. The Purple Tornado, however, used their early run in the first quarter to gain the lead and the eventual 57-52 win of the Route 23 battle.
The Tornado’s head coach Tom Collier honored his eight seniors: Carson Maynard, Tommy Flanagan, Anthony Collier, JT Vinal, Shane Lawrence, Kyle Shepard, Jahlil Jones and Brayden Supensky prior to the start of the contest.
Norwich’s senior starting five instantly made their presence known as Flanagan tipped the opening jump ball to teammate Vinal, who then found a streaking Lawrence on his way to the rim. Lawrence caught the laser pass and finished the layup for a quick two points.
A forced turnover on the defensive end of the floor led to a fast break bucket by Carson Maynard and a 4-0 lead for the Tornado.
The ensuing trip up the court for Norwich ended with a 3-point field goal for Flanagan – his first of four in the game – and the home crowd erupted with excitement.
The Yellowjackets promptly responded with five points of their own with a bucket on the inside and a 3-pointer from Alex Osterhoudt.
The Tornado, however, used the nine points on the inside from Maynard to take the first quarter battle 17-10.
The momentum continued to swing in Norwich’s favor to start the second as they gained a 10 point lead when Flanagan’s second deep ball hit nothing but net, forcing Oneonta head coach Jerry Mackey to call a timeout.
Regaining their focus with the break in the action, the Yellowjackets found their drive. Osterhoudt hit his second 3-point field goal to end Norwich’s second stanza run.