Albert Odero scored a season- and varsity-high 22 points Wednesday, but host Oneonta High dropped a Southern Tier Athletic Conference boys basketball game, 55-48, to defending Section Four Class B champion Norwich.
“Defensively, they got off to a good start against us,” said OHS coach Jerry Mackey, whose team fell into a 15-7 hole after one quarter. “We tried to play man-to-man early, but they got to run anytime they wanted.”
Oneonta (2-1, 1-1) rallied back with a 16-10 second quarter and matched Norwich with 11 points in the third before the Purple Tornado pulled away in the fourth.
“We made a basket to take the lead, at maybe 44-43, in the fourth quarter. Then they drove the ball pretty well,” Mackey said. “We gave up a few second shots in a row that led to fouls, and they made enough of their free throws to maintain a three- to four-point lead until the end. I’m happy with the way we competed tonight, though.”
Odero, who played much of the game at point guard, made eight field goals and went 5-for-5 at the foul line. Mackey said scoring leader Jordan Gutierrez, who had 58 points in Oneonta’s first two games, drew a “ton of attention” from Norwich’s defense. His seven points included a three-pointer and a 2-for-2 effort at the foul line, the latter contributing to Oneonta’s 15-for-17 performance in free throws.
Paul Bischoff contributed 10 points for the Yellowjackets, who received nine from Skylar Thompson. No other Oneonta player scored.
“We have to continue to build and win some games to make sure that game at Norwich in a month-and-a-half means something,” Mackey said. “It’s nice to feel like we’re right back in the mix again.”
Mike Oralls scored a team-best 12 points for Norwich, which received 11 from Storm Cook and 10 from Mike Sutton.