Most round ball enthusiasts would tell you that the game of basketball is a game of runs.
Thursday night's contest between Jim Thorpe and Palmerton in the Lady Indian Holiday Classic showed just that.
The Lady Olympians jumped out to a 19-10 first quarter advantage, but the Bombers bounced back, outscoring JT 21-3 in the second quarter to help them capture a 55-30 non-league victory.
Last night's first quarter performance by Thorpe might have been their best single quarter performance of the year and it was mostly due to their effort on the defensive end. The Lady Olympians came out in a 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone, which gave the Bombers fits throughout the frame. Palmerton shot just 4-for-15 from the field in the quarter, along with turning it over five times.
"They came out and they were really prepared," said Palmerton coach Don Delich. "I'll take the blame for the slow start. I didn't have the girls prepared correctly and the weather didn't really cooperate with us either, so we couldn't practice yesterday. That first quarter was rough to watch, but then fortunately we woke up."
Unfortunately, for Jim Thorpe that's exactly what happened. Palmerton picked up the intensity in the second quarter, pressuring JT in the full-court. The result was disastrous for the Lady Olympians as they turned it over 12 times and shot just 1-for-12. Palmerton on the other hand was able to get their offense going behind youngster Madison Mummey eight points in the stanza. The Bombers as a team also shot the ball better, hitting 58% of their field goals in the second.
"Bottom line and this is something we address after every game, it's that we turn the ball over way too much," said Jim Thorpe coach Rob Kovac. "I mean we had 31 turnovers and you can't turn it over like that if you want to beat a team like Palmerton. We just have to do better job of taking care of the ball under pressure."
Palmerton kept up the pressure in the second half, causing 11 more Thorpe turnovers. The Bombers also held JT to just eight points in the second half, shutting them out completely in the fourth quarter.
Lady Bombers sophomore Jade Farquhar was the offensive standout in the second half, scoring 15 of her game-high 17 points in the final two quarters, including three triples.
"Jade has a pretty bad ankle right now, but she's playing through it," said Delich. "Our defensive pressure got us the win tonight, but we still have a lot of work to do. We're not in rhythm and we have to limit teams from getting second chance buckets. We also have to cut down on our mental mistakes. We go the win, but we're not where we want to be."
The Lady Olympians, whom lost all of their scoring from last season have had a rough time of it this season but coach Kovac sees improvements in his inexperienced squad.
"There are definitely some positives from the way we played tonight," said Kovac. "We're a much better team then we were two weeks ago. We came out and did some good things early, we just have to do our best to play quality basketball for 32 minutes."
For Palmerton Madison Mummey added 12 points and Emelie Menihart chipped in with 11.
Danielle Becker led the way with 12 points, while Nikki Ennis had 11 for JT.
Krupa 1-1-2-3, Ma. Mummey 6-0-0-12, Farquhar 7-0-0-17, Mo. Mummey 2-0-0-4, Tracy 1-0-0-2, Meinhart 5-1-2-11, Solt 1-0-1-2, Reimer 1-2-4-4, Alban 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 24-4-9-55.
Hassler 0-0-0-0, Doughty 1-0-0-3, Condly 1-0-6-2, Ennis 4-0-0-11, Rusbarsky 0-0-0-0, Becker 5-2-4-12, Bush 1-0-0-2, Shigo 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 12-2-10-30.
Palmerton 10 21 13 11 - 55
Jim Thorpe 19 3 8 0 - 30
Three-pointers: P - Farquhar 3; JT - Ennis 3.