Norwich’s boys and Horseheads’ girls will seek repeat Southern Tier Athletic Conference basketball championships Friday at Union-Endicott, where Binghamton High will counter with intentions of a title sweep.
The Norwich-Binghamton boys matchup, scheduled for 7:30 tip-off, is one bringing together teams pushed to the brink in the semifinal round— particularly the Purple Tornado, which fell 14 down before pulling out a 44-43 win over Horseheads.
The Patriots (13-5) needed overtime to get past Johnson City, 68-65 in a game that brought matching 18-point outings from 6-4 Nick Snyder and 6-foot Kyhil Pinkney, and another 16 from foul-plagued point guard Andre Hawkins.
The Purple Tornado (15-3) captured the program’s first conference championship in 20 years last February by smacking Union-Endicott, 85-67.
“Norwich plays full-court man and applies great ball pressure,” Pats coach David Springer said. “They’re very patient and proficient on offense. They’re not going to make mistakes.”
The two-fold challenge notwithstanding, he added, “We’re happy to be playing at this time of the year rather than sitting. It’s been three years.”
To those attempting to predict an outcome in the 5:30 p.m. girls’ final _ fat chance.
First time they met, the host Blue Raiders got 31 points from Amanda Schiefen in a 76-59 win. Game 2 at Binghamton brought 67-44 success for the Patriots, with Jodi-Marie Ramil scoring 19 and Monica McManus 17.
Horseheads (15-3) has strung four wins since that most recent encounter with Binghamton, including Wednesday’s 78-58 semifinal win at Seton Catholic Central in which the Raiders won the second half by 40-23.
The Patriots (16-1) limited Norwich to a 24-point output through three quarters of a 53-37 win on the Tornado’s floor.
“I think we played more aggressively than we had the last couple of games,” said Pats coach Kristin Lemon-Hoyt. “We hit kind of a standstill at the end of the regular season, but I felt a lot better (Wednesday) about how active we were on defense.”
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