Norwood survives Seymour to win second straight district title

By Amanda Perkins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

The Norwood Pirates topped the Seymour Tigers Friday night in a last-second nail-biter to win their second straight Class 2, District 10 championship, 57-55.

“The spectators probably got their five dollars’ worth tonight,” said Norwood head coach Shane Chadwell. “It was too close for comfort at the end.”

Late in the fourth quarter, Seymour trailed by seven. Senior Bryson Benson stuck a layup, then junior Chade Noble followed with an and-one to bring the score within two points.

Max McGowan proved clutch from the foul line for the Pirates, and the senior widened the gap to four points with 40 seconds to play. Freshman Peyton McDaris was the next to contribute from the charity stripe for Norwood, but Noble erased that margin with a layup and 16 seconds left on the clock.

Norwood’s Garrett Davault added one, 57-52, but Seymour junior Eli Nunnally connected from downtown to once again narrow the lead to two.

With six seconds to stay in it, the Tigers took the final shot of the game and missed.

“Seymour and Coach Hastings are well-prepared, and they do a great job,” said Coach Chadwell. “You are getting everybody’s best shot at this point. Seniors know if they don’t win, their days are done, but our kids found a way to win, and I’m proud of them.”

While this is the second district championship in a row for the Pirates, they lost to Dora in the district final three years ago, and Chadwell said that experience has helped propel his team to the point they are at today. “We are used to playing in these games,” he said.

“These seniors have big goals,” added Chadwell. “They want to go back to the Final Four. We know it is hard to get there, but last year prepared us, and our goal is to go back. It doesn’t mean we will get there, but we talk about winning the day. We will enjoy this one tonight and focus on the next challenge tomorrow.”

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE GAME

Seymour Coach Chris Hastings said they knew they were up against a great Norwood team. “I’m proud of my boys for battling,” said Hastings. “We got down by 13 in the second half, and we talked about battling back and withstanding their runs, and we did that.”

Norwood pressure forced turnovers in the first, but Noble scored 7 of Seymour’s 9 points in the frame. Davault added four free throws and a bucket to help Norwood to a three-point lead.

The teams were tied midway through the second, but Davault, McDaris, and Jacob Sinning combined to lead Norwood to a 27-22 advantage at halftime.

The Pirates outscored the Tigers 16-7 in the third and advanced their lead to fourteen points.

Seymour opened the fourth with a seven-point run, highlighted by a Chade Noble three. Payton Bryant also fired from downtown, followed by another Noble trey to reduce the Pirate lead to 7.

The Tigers end their season with a 19-8 record, and the young team will lose three key contributors. “We have three seniors, and two have been with me all the way from junior high and up,” said Coach Hastings. “We’ve had some rough patches. Last year, we won 9 games, and we struggled in junior high. They’ve been through it all, and to win 19 games for their senior year, I couldn’t be prouder of them. If we’re going to go out, I’m glad we battled and went out to a great team like Norwood.”

The Pirates are now 27-1 on the season. They will face the district 9 champion in sectional play at Lebanon on March 2 at 7:45 pm.

Scoring for Norwood: Garrett Davault, 27; Jacob Sinning, 12; Peyton McDaris, 9; Justin Chadwell, 4; Gavin McGraw, 3; Noah Drake, 2.

Scoring for Seymour: Chade Noble, 23; Payton Bryant, 13; Eli Nunnally, 7; Bill Daily, 4; Bryson Benson, 4; Dylan Henry, 4.

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