Lehighton freshman Tyler Krum was given a vote of confidence by his basketball coach and, boy, did he make the coach proud.
For the third straight game, against Tamaqua on Saturday, Coach Richard Oertner had enough confidence in Krum to start him.
Krum had the game high 21 points, including the final four in regulation that sent the game to overtime, to help the Indians top the Raiders, 57-55 in a game played in the Blue Raiders' gym.
Oertner praised the six-foot Krum not only for his scoring, but also for his ability to help keep one of Tamaqua's leading offensive weapons - Brett Kosciolek, a 6-3 freshman - in check.
The 21 points was the season best for Krum, who earlier in the week during one of his starts scored 17.
Although Krum received a lot of praise, there were a lot of heroes for the Indians, who trailed most of the first half, were down by 10 early in the third period, and fought back to send the game into OT.
In the extra period, Lehighton (3-18) capitalized on the foul line, making seven for nine shots, or 78 percent. In regulation, the Tribe hit just six of 13 free throws or 46 percent.
"The foul line helped in the overtime but hurt in the regulation game," agreed Oertner.
For first year Tamaqua coach Caszy Kosciolek, the loss was tough, especially since the Raiders led throughout most of the first half.
He felt the loss was due to his team's "inability to play defense and inability to stop their internal game."
"We're young, but it doesn't take away the pain of the loss," he said.
He added, "I give Lehighton all the credit. They battled and battled."
In the first quarter, the Indians managed to take a 10-9 lead before the Raiders scored eight straight points - including two three-pointers - to take a 17-10 lead.
The Indians came back at tied things up t 21-21, but Tamaqua scored eight more straight points to make the score 29-21 at the half.
The lead became 10 points early in the third period, but the determined visitors went on a 10-2 tear.
In last quarter, the lead switched hands four times with the Raiders ahead 46-45 with 2:21 left. A three-point swish shot from right of the key by Crum put the lead on the Indians' ledger again, 48-46, with 1:32 to play, but a pair of foul shots by Tamaqua senior Matthew Kurek knotted the game at 1:16.
Although the Indians had the ball for the final minute, they weren't able to get off a shot.
The overtime was a see-saw event with three lead-changes hapending in the first 2 1/2 minutes. Then Nate Kresge made two free tosses to make the score 54-53 in favor of Lehighton. Jacen Nalesnik was fouled on a defensive rebound and made a free throw.
With 11.1 seconds, Alex Guyn was fouled while rebounding and made two penalty tosses to knot the victory.
Lehighton controlled the boards most of the night, outrebounding Tamaqua 27-21. In the overtime, the Indians pulled in six rebounds - three by Guyn - compared to two for Tamaqua - both by Kosciolek.
Seniors Mark Kurek and Jake Fegley were the top scorers for Tamaqua, with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
In the JV game, Tamaqua won a 66-49 decision Zack Wargula's 26 points. Wargula had seven three-pointers. Teammate Adam Frantz added 14 points.
A. Rossino 0-0-0-0, Farano 0-0-0-0, Kresge 2-2-2-8, D.J. Rossino 1-2-2-4, Guyn 5-2-4-12, Crum 6-6-9-21, Nalesnik 3-1-5-7, Kerschner 2-0-0-5. TOTALS: 19-13-22-57.
Nunemacher 1-0-0-3, Wargula 1-0-0-2, Fegley 4-2-2-12, Rottet 2-0-0-5, Frantz 3-0-0-6, Kosciolek 3-0-0-6, Kurek 4-6-6-15, Kehl 0-2-2-2, Krell 1-2-3-4. TOTALS: 20-12-13-55.
Lehighton 10 11 15 12 9 - 57
Tamaqua 17 12 8 11 7 - 55
Three-pointers: Lehighton - Crum 3, Kresge 2, Kerschner 1; Tamaqua - Nunemacher 1, Rottet 1, Kurek 1.
It was a long night for Lehighton against Tamaqua, as the Lady Raiders romped to a 48-15 victory.
Tamaqua jumped out to a 21-2 first period lead with Christine Streisel getting her only field goals of the night - two three-pointers, and Amanda Solt tallying five of her 13 points.
The Lady Raiders' head coach Joe Berezwick played his starters very sparingly the rest of the night. By half, Tamaqua led 32-5.
Lehighton head coach Ray Bressi praised Tamaqua for its sportsmanship.
"We didn't lose because we have young kids," said Bressi. "They have a better program. Joe's been in the program for a long time. They're a better team. We played team basketball (Friday). Tonight we played flat."
Blasiak 1-0-0-2, Shelly 1-0-0-2, Green 0-0-0-0, Barclay 0-0-0-0, Magyar 1-0-0-2, Yurasits 0-0-0-0, Evans 1-1-2-3, Durishin 2-0-0-4, Smith 0-0-0-0, Pell 0-0-0-0, Rehrig 0-0-0-0, Cordova 0-2-2-2. TOTALS: 6-3-4-15.
Hope 3-0-0-6, Trainer 2-0-0-4, Kabilko 0-0-0-0, M. Streisel 3-0-0-6, C. Streisel 4-0-0-10, Hartung 1-0-0-2, Solt 2-0-0-4, Valasek 1-0-0-2, Solt 4-4-5-13, Page 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 21-4-5-48.
Lehighton 2 3 6 4 - 15
Tamaqua 21 11 12 4 - 48
Three pointers: Tamaqua - C. Streisel 2.