Exactly one week from its Slatington Rotary Holiday Tournament championship, Northern Lehigh got back to business last night and used a crushing defense to hand Palmerton a 59-21 setback.
In a return to Colonial League play, the Bulldogs kept the Bombers (2-7, 0-5) from hitting double figures in any of the four quarters and made sure no Palmerton player finished with higher than seven points on the night.
"Defensively, I thought we did exactly what our game plan was," said Nolehi head coach Rich Oertner afterwards. "We held them to 10 points at half and when you do that, you're going to win most of the games."
Both teams struggled from the floor early, but the Bulldogs (7-2, 4-1) did manage to jump out to a 10-5 lead after the first period.
"We got our layups in the first half, but we probably missed six or seven," said Oertner. "They (the Bombers) played a gimmick defense on us and I don't know if we were scared or just took some time to adjust to it."
In the second period, Jordan Waylen found the hot hand and scored 10 of Northern Lehigh's 13 points pushing the Bulldog lead to 23-10 at the break.
"At halftime, we made a little adjustment to it and made four layups in a row by Joey Seremula," Oertner said. "He's not a bad shooter from the four to five foot range and this was his best offensive night for us.
"Jordan, on the other hand is a streaky shooter. He's going to make his shots and it's pretty hard to stop him because he shoots the ball so high."
With Seremula scoring 11 of his 15 points in the third period, the Bulldogs built up a 42-18 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
Bobby Hahn and Marty Everhart scored four apiece to lead a 17-point Nolehi fourth period setting the final score at 59-21.
"We hustled, but Northern Lehigh is a very good team," said Palmerton head coach Mike Snyder. "They just wore us down in the second half. We knew all along that their offense was going to be a concern for us. It sure wasn't a concern for them, though."
"Good guards, good big guys, they're complete."
Waylen finished the night with a game high 18 points. Palmerton's leading scorer was Derek Furry with seven.
Northern Lehigh held a 32-22 edge on the boards and committed just nine turnovers to 19 by Palmerton.
Northern Lehigh won the JV game, 45-43. Caleb Johnson finished with 12 and Josh Malaska 10 for the Bulldogs. Brett Snyder had 16 for the Blue Bombers.
Seremula 7-1-2-15, George 0-0-0-0, Hahn 2-0-0-4, Pristash 1-0-0-3, Glose 0-0-0-0, Waylen 7-2-2-14, Malaska 0-0-0-0, Rankin 0-0-0-0, Everhart 1-2-3-4, Hofmann 0-0-0-0, Bender 0-0-0-0, Biegley 2-3-4-7, Johnson 0-0-0-0, Pappas 3-0-0-6, Pierce 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 24-8-11-59.
Snyder 0-0-0-0, Andrews 0-0-0-0, Tyahla 0-0-0-0, Svetik 0-0-0-0, Furry 2-2-2-7, Haas 0-0-0-0, Freed 1-0-0-2, Geist 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 8-4-7-21.
No. Lehigh 10 13 19 17 - 59
Palmerton 5 5 8 3 - 21
Three-pt. FG's: No. Lehigh - Waylen 2, Pristash 1; Palmerton - Furry 1.