Kelsey Hay wasn't interested in how many points she scored after the Palmerton girls handed Northwestern a 37-32 loss in a Colonial League battle on the Bombers' court.

It didn't matter that she finished with a season-high 27 points and scored all 15 points that the Bombers (11-9, 7-7) made in the second half. All she wanted to do was give her teammates credit for getting her the ball and playing tough pressure defense that enabled them to keep the Tigers (13-7, 9-5) from staging a late comeback.

"We had to step it up," she said, following the outstanding performance. "They're such a rival for us.

"It was a team effort tonight. They managed to feed it in to me and we played the inside, outside game and that's what we needed to do to get it done."

Northwestern actually jumped out to an early lead, but Palmerton ran off the last six points of the first half, finally taking the lead with 1:08 left until intermission and never trailed the rest of the way.

"We played a full four quarters tonight," said Palmerton head coach Don Delich. "I know Kelsey scored the points, but there was great team effort on the defensive end. I thought we played great defense. Kelsey took advantage of a matchup and I thought our kids did a great job getting her the ball where she could be effective."

Hay not only scored all 15 points for her team in the second half, she kept them within striking distance in the first quarter with eight of the 10.

"Kelsey played like she could play," said Delich. "She was a dominant player on both ends of the court tonight. She intimidated their shots, she altered their shots and obviously had a great game on the offensive end. I still have to credit the great team defense.

"And another key was that we controlled the tempo. We played at our tempo, not their's, or we wouldn't have beaten them."

Jen Snyder, who draws the tough job of guarding the opponents best player night in and night out, kept the Tigers' Sara Jones in check. Jones still managed 12 points, but has the ability to take a game over by herself.

"Sara (Jones) is a really good player, but I thought Jen did an outstanding job defending her. Most of her points came off second chance efforts. Jen didn't score points, but she is very valuable to us on the defensive end."

The Bombers took a 31-22 lead into the final eight minutes, but the Tigers were able to pull within three with less than a minute to go.

With 22 seconds to go, Hay went to the line and sank both ends of a one-and-one and despite Northwestern getting off three shots before time ran out, it failed to score any more points.

"Kelsey is a very good player and they (the Bombers) stepped up and we didn't," said Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch. "I don't think we played like a playoff team tonight and I told the girls that after the game. I'm disappointed.

"I just didn't think we played well and you have to give credit to Palmerton. They're the ones that made us play like that. If we want to get to where we want to get we have to play better.

"We control our own destiny yet and we're in the district playoffs and we need one more win to put ourselves in the league playoffs. We have two more games left (Bangor and Catasauqua), so we have to do that."

Backing up Jones was Sarah Segan, who joined her Tiger teammate in double figures with 10 points.

NORTHWESTERN LEHIGH

Mertz 1-0-0-2, Landrigan 1-0-0-2, Jones 4-4-4-12, Kemmerer 0-0-0-0, MacLaughlin 0-0-0-0, Cunningham 3-0-1-6, Segan 5-0-0-10. TOTALS: 14-4-5-32.

PALMERTON

Rickert 0-0-0-0, Farquhar 1-2-2-4, Morg. Mummey 2-0-0-4, Meinhart 1-0-1-2, Snyder 0-0-1-0, Hay 10-6-12-27. TOTALS: 14-8-16-37.

Northwestern 14 4 3 10 - 32

Palmerton 10 12 9 6 - 37

Three-pointers: NW - none; P - Hay 1.