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Norwood falls to Thayer in unbeaten battle at Cabool

Pirates take second place in annual holiday tournament

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When the seedings came out for the annual Cabool Holiday Tournament, there was excitement in the air with a potential championship match-up between undefeated Thayer from Class 3, the No. 1 seed, and undefeated Norwood from Class 2, as a No. 2 seed.

Last season, Thayer was a state quarterfinalist and the Pirates were in the Final Four. The two teams also faced-off in last year’s tournament with the Bobcats winning a semifinals contest.

Last Thursday, the match-up became a reality. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they led for two quarters before the Bobcats’ offense poured it on in the second half to give Thayer the 70-53 win and the championship.

Norwood was ready for the challenge early as Garrett Davault had a steal on Thayer’s first possession and scored on a lay-up for a quick lead.

Gavin McGraw converted a 3-point play and helped the Pirates to a 12-11 edge at the end of the first quarter. The Pirates made 5-of-9 shots from the field.

Thayer would respond in the second quarter with a 6-0 run to take their first lead. Max McGowan did pick up his third foul late in the half, but it didn’t hurt the Pirates at the time.

Noah Drake made two big 3-pointers in the quarter. In the final seconds, he then picked up a steal and assisted McGraw for a layup at the buzzer, giving Norwood a 28-27 halftime edge.

In the third quarter, officials were letting the players play a little too much as several fouls were not called.

This led to Davault getting a bloody nose with Norwood down four near the end of the third quarter.

With Norwood’s leading scorer out of the lineup after no whistle was blown on contact with his nose, Thayer hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open up a 10-point lead in the 1:10 Davault was on the bench.

Norwood opened the fourth quarter with two 3-point plays to cut the lead to five points. Thayer responded though with a 6-0 run and cruised to the win.

Davault led the Pirates with 18 points, five assists, four steals, two rebounds and one block. McGraw added 10 points, three rebounds and one assist; Jacob Sinning scored eight points, nine rebounds and one assist; McGowan had six points, two rebounds and one assist; Drake scored six points, one steal and one assist; and Justin Chadwell had five points, five rebounds and one assist.

Meanwhile, Thayer had four players finish in double figures.

In the semifinals, the Pirates had quite the scare from rival Mansfield after being outscored 22-14 in the second half. Fortunately, they held on late for a 36-34 win.

Norwood jumped out to a 17-4 first quarter lead as Davault made two 3-pointers for eight points and Sinning added a 3-pointer.

The Pirates’ offense was held though to just five points in the second quarter as Norwood was up 24-12 at halftime.

Their offense was held to just four points in the third quarter while Mansfield’s Tom Emerick hit two 3-pointers and scored eight points to trim the lead to one.

The Pirates’ defense held Mansfield to just nine points in the fourth as they won the game by two.

Davault scored a team-high 20 points. Both McGowan and Sinning had five points; Chadwell scored four points and McGraw had two points.

In the previous round, Norwood’s offense had a 21-point first quarter and cruised to a 73-51 win over Licking.

Chadwell scored eight points in the first quarter to pace the Pirates. Sinning came up big in the second quarter with eight points as Norwood led 35-17 at halftime.

Norwood had a 22-point fourth quarter to pull away for good.

Sinning had a monster game with 20 points, Davault had 19, Chadwell finished with 12, Drake scored 10, McGowan had two points and Payton McDaris scored one point.

In the opening round, the Pirates’ offense cored 45 points in the first half, helping Norwood to a n 80-50 win over Lutie.

The big win led to 10 different Pirates scoring, with two of them finishing with 20 points.

Davault made three, 3-pointers and finished with 20 points while McGraw also had 20 points. Drake added three, 3-pointers for nine points; both McGowan and Chadwell had eight points; both Andrew Hooker and Sinning had four points; Dylan Calhoun made a late 3-pointer for three points; and both Brayden Wehrer and McDaris scored two points.

Both Davault and McGraw were named to the All-Tournament team.

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