NORWICH – Giving up the first seven points of the contest to the visiting Yellowjackets from Oneonta, Norwich trailed early on senior night against their long-time rivals. However, it didn’t take long for the Purple Tornado to erase the Yellowjackets’ lead and control the rest of the game as they came out the victors of a 69-47 Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC) divisional win Wednesday night.
With the win, Norwich clinched the regular season title for the STAC East division with one game remaining in the regular season.
The 7-0 Oneonta run was stopped after a defensive play by the Tornado’s Taylor Hansen. Hansen came trailing down the floor after the Yellowjackets broke Norwich’s full-court press to send Danielle Basdekis’ shot attempt out of bounds. The clean block gave the home team the momentum shift they needed to pull together and go on a run of their own.
Hansen took the ball to the rim on the next offensive possession and scored the first two points for the Tornado. Then, the pesky full-court pressuring defense of Norwich forced the Yellowjackets into the several turnovers, in which they converted at the other end of the floor by strong finishes at the basket or wide open jumpers from the outside.
By the end of the first quarter, the Purple Tornado allowed just one point for Oneonta to close out the quarter with a 16-1 run.
The Yellowjackets’ Taylor Microni opened up the second stanza with a 3-pointer to cut the Norwich lead down to five. However, the Tornado once again put together a big run that started with a drive and finish by Hansen. The next four possessions ended with Norwich points as Triniti Myers hit a long ball, Halea Eaton went 1-for-2 at the foul line, Hansen drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Nicole Jeffrey closed the 11-2 run with a coast-to-coast layup following her steal on the defensive end...