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Norwell ready for title shot

Girls cruise past Luers; can clinch NHC title on Saturday

– Norwell tuned up for a chance at another NHC title with a convincing victory.

Norwell ended a two-year losing streak to Bishop Luers with a 75-51 home non-conference win Tuesday.

Class 3A No. 5 Norwell (16-3) has already clinched at least a share of the conference championship with a 6-0 league mark. Norwell can win the title outright with a win at East Noble on Saturday.

Norwell has won six of the last seven conference titles, including last year’s, and has won 19 straight in league play.

“This has been a really good run for us,” Norwell coach Eric Thornton said. “I remember when we were lucky to win two games in the conference. That’s been a lot of work by a lot of people. It’s really hard to win a conference championship. It’s harder to win that than a sectional because you have to be good seven times. For us to have a run like this, we are not going to take it for granted.”

Norwell hasn’t lost in the NHC since a defeat to Homestead in 2010.

“It is nice to continually get it year after year,” Norwell’s Paige Frisch said of the NHC titles. “We wanted a good start, and we knew (Luers) beat us two years in a row. We just wanted to come out and show them this is a different year.”

Norwell had lost to Luers, which has been to the last three 2A state title games, 43-40 in overtime and 53-46 in the last two years.

“It is great to play a nonconference team like Luers, who is going to get better and better,” Thornton said.

Hannah Smith led Norwell with 21 points, while Taylor Wilson and Carlee Harnish each had 12 and Olivia Geiger 10.

Frisch, Wilson and Harnish were all honored on Senior Night.

“You can plug about anybody into that starting lineup and feel confident about who we have out there,” Thornton said.

Norwell forced Luers into 24 turnovers.

“We just gradually continued to build the lead,” Thornton said. “We were able to get some things off our defense to get us going, and then the offense became a little easier.”

For Luers (7-10), Erin Butler was the lone player in double figures with 15 points on five three-pointers.

Luers led 8-5 in the first quarter before Norwell went on a 21-3 run to open a 26-11 advantage in the second and led 42-26 at halftime.

Luers was still in the game, trailing 48-35 in the third when Norwell went on a 11-3 run to end the quarter and go up 59-38 entering the fourth.

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