The Palmerton girls basketball team came into the season highly touted and ranked high in many pre-season polls. Meanwhile, the Northwestern girls entered the campaign with very little fanfare.
But less than two weeks into the season, the Tigers are the team making headlines.
Northwestern defeated the Bombers, 40-30, on Tuesday night to improve their record to 4-0 on the season.
"I'm very proud of the girls' effort overall," said Northwestern coach Chris Deutsch. "I thought it was a good team effort. I thought we did a great job on defense and we got out to that good start."
It was that early lead that eventually hurt Palmerton (3-2) as they were unable to do much throughout the game.
"Northwestern came out ready to play tonight," said Palmerton coach Don Delich. "I didn't do a good job of getting my girls ready to play. Northwestern didn't do anything that we didn't expect. They just out-scrapped us and out-hustled us the entire game."
Palmerton was seemingly lethargic, stagnant and sloppy through and through, committing 27 turnovers in the game.
Credit for that has to go to the Tigers' defensive pressure which consistently fored miscues that led to points.
In the first quarter, Northwestern raced out to an 8-0 lead. The score was 12-7 at the end of the eight minutes. Sara Jones' 10 points in the frame paced the Tigers.
In the second quarter, Northwesten dominated play to build a 25-11 halftime lead. Sabrina Mertz had seven of her nine in that session for the Tigers.
The Tigers continued to widen their advantage in the third quarter, holding Palmerton to single digits for the third straight stanza and building a 35-19 edge.
In the fourth, Palmerton applied a press, but it was too little, too late, as the game was well in hand at that point. The Bombers' Kelsey Hay scored seven of her team-high 11 points in the final 2:09 of the game, but it wasn't enough.
"I thought we did a great job defensively on Hay," Deutsch said. "As a team, we limited her looks and everyone worked well together."
In the game, Palmerton got Hay's 11 points and Emily Meinhart's eight points.
For Northwestern, Jones had 15 points and Mertz added nine.
Pallmerton held a 27-23 edge in rebounds, but committed those 27 miscues to Northwestern's nine.
"We have a lot to work on yet and we're a young team," Deutsch said. "But we're going to take it one game at a time and see if we can compete for a Colonial League title."
Hadinger 0-0-0-0, Rickert 0-0-0-0, Farquhar 2-3-3-7, Mummey 1-2-2-4, Graver 0-0-0-0, Meinhart 4-0-0-8, Eaton 0-0-0-0, Snyder 0-0-0-0, Hay 2-7-10-11. TOTALS: 9-12-14-30.
Mertz 3-3-6-9, Landrigan 0-0-0-0, Jones 6-3-7-15, Kemmerer 3-0-0-6, Cunningham 4-0-2-8, Dietrich 0-0-0-0, Segan 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 17-6-15-40.
Palmerton 7 4 8 11 - 30
Northwestern 12 13 10 5 - 40
Three-Pointers: Palmerton – None; Northwestern – None.