Boys hoops Warriors make return to state final four

Westhill survives Norwich, 56-53, in OT regional classic

Though Roland and Reynolds did get on the board early in the second quarter and each of them finished the half with six points, baskets remained a rare commodity on both sides.

Westhill got helped by Norwich missing both close-up shots and free throws. Still, Sutton broke through the defensive stalemate with 14 first-half points. His runner in the waning moments of the second quarter again inched the Purple Tornado in front, 24-22, going into the break.

Instead of getting back into its usual rhythm, Westhill fell into a long drought in the third quarter, the whole team going more than four minutes without a basket.

Norwich again finished the period strong, as Carlos Ithier and Matt Burke hit on consecutive baskets to extend the Purple Tornado's lead to 34-29 with one quarter left. Yet the fact that it wasn’t a larger margin in the midst of the Westhill struggles would prove quite important.

Kept off the board in that third period, just as he was in the first quarter, Roland began the fourth by unleashing a trademark outburst, hitting on back-to-back 3-pointers and a drive through the lane to help Westhill tie it, 37-37, setting the stage for the tense conclusion.

After an exchange of baskets, Westhill tied it again, 43-43, on Roland's driving lay-up with 1:43 left. Then both sides missed chance to go in front in the last minute of regulation.

Twice, Roland saw go-ahead jumpers roll off the rim, and in between those chances, Norwich's Storm Cook missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw chance with 30 seconds left.

So they would play an extra four minutes. Clinging to a 47-46 lead midway through the OT period, Westhill got big 3-pointers from Reynolds (who finished with 13 points) and Roland to stretch the margin to 53-49, but still it wasn't over.

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