Oneonta High’s boys know their pain this season and it is Norwich.
The Yellowjackets, 11-0 against teams not named Norwich, lost for the second time this season to the host Purple Tornado on Tuesday.
Mike Sutton scored a game-high 24 points in Norwich’s 65-42 Southern Tier Athletic Conference basketball victory.
“I feel like in stretches we can present some problems, but realistically, Norwich is too experienced and they’re too comfortable with who does what role,” said OHS coach Jerry Mackey, whose team fell, 55-48, to Norwich in early December. “Each guy knows his responsibility. We’re still trying to figure that out.”
Unbeaten Norwich, the defending Section Four Class B champion, led, 29-23, at halftime and then outscored the Yellowjackets, 21-10, in the third quarter.
Sutton had seven points in the quarter. He was one of five Norwich players to score in the third period.
“They hurt us on the glass a little bit, but in hindsight, I put us in bad spots with our zone slides,” Mackey said of the third quarter. “I’ll take responsibility for that. We fought our way to get to 29-23 at halftime and we felt as if we had righted the ship. I tried to move a few things around, but I haven’t gotten them to understand what we’re trying accomplish on offense or defense. I’ll take responsibility for that. We have enough time to get things improved before sectionals.”
For the second time this season, OHS standout Jordan Gutierrez was held to single digits in scoring. Both times it has come against Norwich. Gutierrez, averaging better than 26 points, finished with nine.
Mackey said Gutierrez was whistled for a pair of early fouls.
“Norwich was about to pull away, so we rolled the dice and put him back in there,” Mackey said of Gutierrez, who scored seven points the first time the teams played. “He played with two fouls the rest of the half and did some good things.