At halftime of last night's Colonial League girls' basketball showdown, Southern Lehigh head coach Megan Dellegrotti challenged her squad to pick up the intensity and limit the amount of offensive rebounds they were giving up to the host Lady Bombers.
The Spartans responded as they accomplished both objectives to defeat Palmerton, 49-36, in a crucial Colonial League outcome.
"At the break, we told the girls that they needed to pick up the pressure and I thought we also gave up too many offensive rebounds in the first half," Dellegrotti mentioned. "They did that."
Palmerton head coach Don Delich agreed.
"I thought they turned up the pressure in the second half and they did a really good job of picking up their intensity," said Delich. "Their coach did a good job of that and I think I did a poor job of that."
The crucial third frame saw the Lady Spartans limit the Blue Bombers to a mere five points to turn a two-point halftime deficit into a eight-point lead at the end of three. They cruised the remainder of the way as the locals were forced to foul and the lead ballooned.
Both teams struggled on the night, though, with SL (11-2, 8-0) committing 28 turnovers in the contest while Palmerton had 19.
The game started out in the Bombers favor as they raced to a 6-0 lead. However, the Spartans ran off 10 straight to show they arrived and an Eleni Dimou's trey at the buzzer put her team up 15-10.
In the second, Palmerton responded by battling inside and being aggressive offensively. The Bombers outscored Solehi 12-5 for a 22-20 lead at the break.
"Southern Lehigh is a very good team," Delich said. "They're tall, they're aggressive, and they showed those qualities tonight."
The Southern Lehigh halftime challenge paved the way for an 8-0 run to start the second half, before Kelsey Hay's layup with 3:45 remaining in the third stopped the bleeding for the Bombers (10-3, 8-2).
Dimou's six and teammate Bridgette Daugherty's four in the final frame helped the Spartans hold out for the big Colonial league win.
"We knew this was a big game for us," Dellegrotti said. "It's another win and we were challenged. It's nice to come up to the North Division, which has a lot of tough teams, and get a good win like this."
Meanwhile, Delich remained steadfast in looking ahead.
"We have three games in a row coming up against teams that we should realistically get wins against," he said. "But if we don't stay focused and get the job done, we're going to be in trouble."
In the game, Southern Lehigh was led by Dimou's game-high 18 points. Daugherty added 12.
For Palmerton, Rinfret had 12 points with Katie Reimer dropping in 10.
In the JV contest, So. Lehigh pulled out a 43-37 win, despite 16 points from the Bombers' Kelsey Eaton.
Dimou 7-2-3-18, Nemeth 1-0-0-2, Sullivan 3-1-1-7, Daugherty 5-2-2-12, Doell 2-0-0-4, Reichl 3-0-0-6. TOTALS: 21-5-6-49.
Smith 0-0-0-0, Reimer 2-6-6-10, Romano 1-0-0-2, Rinfret 4-4-8-12, Farquhar 1-2-2-4, Snyder 1-1-2-3, Hay 2-1-4-5. TOTALS: 11-14-22-36.
So. Lehigh 15 5 15 13 - 49
Palmerton 10 12 5 9 - 36
Three pointers: SL - Dimou 2; Palmerton - none.