Having a star player or a big-time scorer is nice. But sometimes it's better to get a solid effort from all five guys on the floor.
Northwestern got that and then some Tuesday in a 56-41 win over Palisades.
The Tigers had four players score in double digits and had five players with five or more rebounds.
"I thought it was a balanced victory," said Northwestern head coach BJ Dugan. "We all rebounded. We all got on the glass. We certainly were scrappy tonight."
The Tigers got second and third shots all night. Palisades didn't as it was out-rebounded 39-18 in the game. Ryan Betz had eight boards and Garrett Lerner chipped in seven while scoring 10 points, dishing out four assists and guarding the Pirates best offensive player, Josh Parris.
"Garrett played real good defense on Parris tonight," said Tiger guard Kevin Oxley, who scored a team-gigh 13 points. "We know he's been scoring 20 points a game this year. He came in here and Garrett shut him down. [Lerner is] very tough and he likes to create problems for their best player."
The Tigers jumped out to a 15-6 lead after Lerner scored three straight baskets for his team over a one minute and six second span in the first quarter. It countered two three-pointers by Palisades' Anthony Mayette, which accounted for all of his team's scoring through the first six minutes of the game.
From there Northwestern forwards Betz and Trevor German (11 points, five rebounds) controlled the paint on both ends of the floor.
"They're big, physical kids inside killed us," said Pirate mentor Mike Viglianti. "They were the more physical team tonight. They got second shots. They out-hustled us."
Palisades (3-11 overall, 2-8 Colonial League) cut the lead to four, 21-17, early in the second quarter on Mayette's third three-pointer of the game. But the Tigers (7-8 overall, 4-5 Colonial League) didn't let them any closer.
Northwestern extended the lead to 31-21 on German's basket to start the second half. An Oxley three-pointer made it 36-25 with 4:14 to go in third quarter. He hit another three to start the fourth and keep the lead at 11 points, 39-28. Back to back baskets by Toby Koenig got the lead up to 44-30 with 5:55 to play and Palisades didn't get within single digits the rest of the way.
"It was just a huge game for us," said Tiger point "It was just a huge game for us," said Tiger point guard Sean Nagle. "We really needed this. We needed five wins to get into districts. I thought the whole team played well. We just came out and played hard and got a win."
Even the point guard helped crash the boards. Nagle pulled down five rebounds to go along with his 10 points and three assists.
The Tigers have now won two straight in the Colonial League after last Friday's win over Salisbury. They travel to saucon Valley this Friday.
Parris 6-6-9-18, Hess 2-1-3-5, Orecchio 0-0-0-0, Codd 0-0-0-0, Salvo 2-1-2-5, Kalinkos 0-2-2-2, Mayette 4-0-0-11, Krchvani 0-0-0-0, Thompson 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 14-10-16-41.
Lerner 5-0-0-10, Nagle 4-2-2-10, Roth 0-0-0-0, Koenig 4-0-0-8, Oxley 5-0-0-13, German 4-3-6-11, Collopy 0-0-0-0, Conway 0-0-0-0, Wagner 0-0-0-0, Betz 1-2-2-4. TOTALS: 23-7-10-56.
Palisades 13 8 7 13 - 41
Northwestern 19 10 7 20 - 56
Three-pointers: Palisades - Mayette 3; Northwestern - Oxley 3.