NORWICH- Opportunity favors the prepared.
Norwich freshman Steven Dowdall was as prepared as he ever was on Friday night as he answered the final bell; delivering the game-winning three-point basket that excelled the Purple Tornado boys basketball team to a 67-66 victory over the visiting Susquehanna Valley Sabers.
The Tornado were down nearly all game long, facing a deficit that at one point reached 17 points. In the final period NHS capitalized on their opportunity- handing the ball off to the hot hand of Dowdall in the waning seconds to deliver on one final shot. Dowdall nailed seven trifectas on the night- including his clutch game winning shot to record a team high 22 points.
“They were very calm under pressure. That was great to see from that group of kids” said Norwich assistant coach Jordan Vinal on his team’s offensive execution on the game-winning play, “They just worked the ball around, got it to the open guy and he knocked the shot when it mattered.”
Norwich facing a depleted bench somehow found a way to win, relying heavily upon the scoring of Keegan Franklin, Wyatt Thornton, Torin Lawrence and the aforementioned Dowdall as the quartet combined for 60 points.
“They kept fighting, they didn’t give up. They just kept going. They trusted the offense, they trusted us to get them in the right spots. They got it done...everybody on the team stepped up. The kids never gave up” added Vinal on the Tornado’s effort in the game.
Doing nearly all of the scoring for the Sabers was Scott Howard and Nicholas Stilloe. Howard scored 20 points with Stilloe reaching a game high 26 points in the setback. SV soared out to a 15-7 first quarter lead and maintained a four point lead headed into halftime. SV’s lead continued to dwindle as they clung to 53-51 advantage headed into the fourth.
In addition to Dowdall’s 22 point, Norwich received balanced scoring as Keegan Franklin scored 19 points, Wyatt Thornton scored 10 points- along with drilling three trifectas, and Torin Lawrence scored 9 points.
Norwich (5-5) is back in action on Tuesday January 11th when they host the Patriots of Binghamton High School at Jack Jones gymnasium with tip-off slated for 7:30pm.
Score by Quarters:
Sus. Valley: 15 17 21 13 - 66
Norwich: 7 21 23 16 - 67
Norwich (5-5): Torin Lawrence 9, Jerell Stokes 2, Kaleb Turner 2, Steven Dowdall 22, Keegan Franklin 19, Wyatt Thornton 10, Anthony Pomares 2. 22 FG, 12-29 FT – 67
Sus. Valley: S. Howard 20, T. Schneider 5, L. Koriam 5, K. Smith 3, R. Rychiewski 5, S. MacNamee 2, N. Stilloe 26. 22 FG, 18-41FT- 66
3-point goals: Norwich 11 (Dowdall 7, Thornton 3, Pomares); Sus. Valley 4 (Stilloe 3, Howard)