Palmerton has had its share of close losses this season.
So the Blue Bombers made sure Friday night's game at Northwestern wasn't close. They used four second-quarter three-pointers to open an 11-point lead en route to a 63-41 win.
"They played hard all season long but our execution hasn't been there," said Palmerton head coach Mick Stefanek. "Today we had the total package of hard play, hustle, determination and execution."
The Blue Bombers (3-16, 1-13) picked up their first Colonial League win of the season, while the Tigers (2-18, 1-13) lost their 14th straight game. Their last win was Dec. 20 over Palmerton.
"It came down to desire tonight," said Northwestern head coach Dan Eddinger. "They shot well, but they wanted it more than us."
Palmerton hit four of its eight shots in the first quarter then really heated up in the second, going 9 for 16 from the field and 4 for 6 from three-point range.
Northwestern had an early lead, but Palmerton went ahead when Tyler Svetik scored 10 points to turn a 17-12 deficit into a 22-19 lead with 5:06 left in the second quarter.
Svetik's outburst was part of a 16-4 run by Palmerton. Brett Snyder ended the run with a pair of three pointers that gave his team a 28-21 lead with 3:39 left in the first half.
"The three was big for us," said Svetik, who scored a game-high 20 points. "If they would inch closer we would hit a big three and keep us ahead."
Kyle Ruch's three pointer and a Svetik basket with 31 second left in the second quarter gave Palmerton a 35-26 lead.
Palmerton made seven of 12 three-point attempts in the first half.
"It got us a lot of separation," said Snyder, who made four of his six attempts from three-point range. "It's not like we were forcing shots up. We were pounding it inside and that opened up the kickouts."
The Bombers pulled away in the second half. Northwestern committed seven third-quarter turnovers to fall behind 49-32 after three quarters.
"Second half we knew we had to put them away," said Svetik. "Overall tonight I think we played really well as a team. That's something early in the season we weren't doing."
The Bombers have now won two of the their last three games and have three to play. They're salvaging what they can out of what was a difficult season in which they played in a lot of close games that they were unable to pull out.
"A lot of teams would have tanked the season mid-way through January," said Snyder. "But we go to practice every day and practice our hardest. It's paying off right now. We have three games left and we have a chance in all of them."
"This team fights more than any team I've ever been around," said Svetik.
Last night the Bombers fought through Northwestern's early lead. Binder, a 6-foot-6 center scored 10 points in the first 11 minutes of the game.
The Bombers adjusted, giving the 6-foot-1 Svetik help with Binder. After the adjustment the Tiger center scored just four points.
"Binder hurt us a little bit in the first half," said Stefanek. "Then we did a good job packing it in on him in the second half."
Snyder finished the game with 14 points and five assists. Palmerton moved the ball efficiently with 15 assists on 21 field goals. Matt Leaver also had five assists in the game.
Northwestern was led by Binder with 14.
The Tigers won the JV game, 57-45.
Horvath 2-0-0-4, Svetik 8-3-8-20, B. Snyder 3-5-6-14, Leaver 1-3-4-5, Ruch 2-0-0-6, Shigo 0-0-0-0, Lesher 1-0-0-3, Leon 1-0-2-2, T. Snyder 0-0-0-0, Geist 2-2-4-6, Luers 0-0-0-0, Quinn 1-1-2-3. TOTALS: 21-14-26-63.
Wagner 1-2-2-4, Schuler 0-0-0-0, Hadian 3-0-0-6, T. Richardson 2-0-1-6, Bittenbender 0-0-0-0, Maher 0-1-2-1, Dorney 0-0-0-0, Rivera 2-1-2-6, Perry 0-0-1-0, Binder 7-0-6-14, Bachman 2-0-2-4, Breidinger 0-0-0-0, C. Richardson 0-0-0-0, Deangelo 0-0-0-0, Williamson 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-4-16-41.
Palmerton 11 24 14 14 – 63
Northwestern 15 11 6 9 – 41
Three-pointers – P: Snyder 3, Ruch 2, Svetik 1, Lesher 1; NW: Richardson 2, Rivera 1.