DII State Semis: Norwalk wins its 75th game in three years, advances to Final

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Thomas, Haraway lead Truckers past Cougars

Norwalk 72, Dayton Thurgood Marshall 64

Box Score

There is a reason Norwalk is (75-3) over the past three season, it is good, very good. The Truckers used a big 2nd half from senior Jeff Thomas and some clutch 4th quarter free throws to get past an ultra-talented Thurgood Marshall squad, 72-64.

Trailing (57-56), following a Dwayne Chastain three-point goal, Norwalk (28-1) closed the game on a 16-7 run. The Truckers were 11-of-13 in the final frame, while only needing four field goals in the closing eight minutes.

Thomas got momentum back with a three-point goal of his own to counter Chastain’s triple, and the Truckers never trailed again. Senior Grant Hull cashed in 6-of-6 at the charity stripe, and classmate Ben Haraway was 3-of-3.

173_useThomas and Haraway paced the Truckers with 20 points apiece, and Hull chipped in 17 points. Haraway added eight assists, and Thomas totaled nine rebounds.

Norwalk weathered an early storm from the Cougars to start the 3rd period allowing senior Jeff Thomas, a Georgia State signee, to take over the remainder of the period. The 6-foot-5 wing tallied 12 points in the quarter including two huge trifectas. Thomas’ first triple gave the Truckers a (44-43) lead and his second stretched the lead to (50-45). Moments later he would add a pair of free throws. Norwalk held a seven-point advantage heading into the final frame.

Norwalk and Dayton Thurgood Marshall entertained the opening session crowd inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center in a 1st half of play that was electric. The Truckers of Norwalk jumped out to an early before the Cougars clawed their way back into the contest. Senior Dwayne Chastain knocked down a triple to cut Norwalk’s lead to (17-14) heading into the 2nd session giving the Cougars a nice dose of momentum.

Thurgood (22-6) was able to erase the three-point deficit and open up a (27-21) lead with just under four minutes to play in the half. Derrick Daniels, a 6-8 sophomore, carried the Cougars for much of the 1st half by dominating the offensive glass. Daniels scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds (6 offensive) in the opening half.

Norwalk was able to knot the game at half (30-30) following a Jeff Thomas three-point play, a pair of Ben Haraway freebies, and a Jordan Johnson left, baseline jumper. Haraway equaled Daniels with 12 counters in the opening half.

RaChaun Martin paced the Cougars with 15 points, but 11 of those tallies came in the last half of the 4th quarter. Daniels finished with 13 points with just a single point in the 2nd half, and added 14 rebounds (8 offensive). Darnell Hoskins Jr. chipped in 12 points, and Chastain and senior Davion Ashe scored eight points apiece.

Stat of the Game

Norwalk cashed in 18-of-25 freebies, while Thurgood Marshall was just 6-of-10 at the foul line.

Player of the Game

Jeff Thomas finished the game 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 behind the arc, whic was good for 20 points. He also added nine rebounds.

Observation

It’s a must to have a great point guard to beat Thurgood Marshall, and Norwalk certainly has one in Ben Haraway.

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IN PICTURES…

Photos by Gary Housteau (JJHuddle.com/Bucknuts.com)

 

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