The Skyline boys basketball team saw a halftime lead evaporate as they were defeated in the 54 Classic consolation semi-finals by Norwich. The final score in the afternoon contest in Cunningham was 61-55 Norwich.
Leading at the break by a pair, Skyline suffered through a dreadful 3rd quarter, getting outscored 23-10. That was enough to tip the balance irretrievably in the Eagles favor.
The Thunderbirds opened the game with pressure defense and attempted to push the ball up the floor. They were somewhat successful, at times being rewarded with easy buckets, but at other times getting in too big of a hurry and losing control of the basketball.
The good news was Norwich only led 14-11 after the first stanza even though Skyline wasn’t clicking on all cylinders. Dustin Weber kept the T-Birds close, doing most of the offensive damage with 6 points in Q1.
The T-Birds got things going in the second quarter as several players began finding the range. Kasey Gilpin scored 5 points which paced Skyline in the 2nd stanza. Outscoring the Eagles 18-13 in Q2, Skyline took a 29-27 lead into the halftime locker room.
Norwich seized the momentum coming out of the break, going on a 9-3 run in the first few minutes to grab a 36-33 lead. The T-Birds were allowing too many second chance points, and for their own part had several consecutive possessions in which turnovers prevented them from even getting a look at the basket.
By the end of the disastrous third frame, Norwich had ballooned their advantage to 50-39. To the Skyliners credit, they kept fighting in the 4th quarter and were able to whittle the lead to 5 with one minute to play. Brandon Abbott scored 5 points early in the frame to help Skyline get back within striking distance.
In the final minute, Blake Lee hit for 4 points, but the Norwiches kept sinking free throws and Skyline could never completely close the gap, ultimately falling 61-55. The defeat puts Skyline in the 7th place game Saturday afternoon against Stafford.
Skyline 11 18 10 16 55
Norwich 14 13 23 11 61
Weber 10; Gilpin 7; Patterson 14; Abbott 9; Lee 7; McComb 8