Southern Lehigh head coach Emily Dellegrotti recalled all the tough games that her team has had throughout the years with Northern Lehigh, and last night proved to be no different.
With the game tied at the end of the third frame, the Lady Spartans utilized an impressive fourth and final period to pull away for the win, 39-29.
The constant hustle, board dominance, and a wealth of fresh legs from the visitors bench allowed the winners to outrebound the Lady 'Dawgs, 39-30, benefit from 20 Bulldog turnovers, and ultimately, win the contest.
"We play a lot of girls," Dellegrotti said following the game. "That usually wears opponents down and we started to see that in the fourth quarter. We got some fresh legs in there and they had a tough time with it. I think that was the difference tonight."
Even though Northern Lehigh pulled even at 22-22 after three quarters, the Spartans, led by Bridgette Dougherty with nine points and four boards in the final frame, started to drop their field goal attempts and elongate their lead for the big Colonial League win.
"This is a big win," Dellegrotti continued. "We were playing against one of the best players in the league here, tonight in [Aimee] Oertner. I think our whole team had a great fourth quarter."
A crucial 6-0 run in that decisive session started with four and a half minutes left on a Dougherty jumper from the top of the key, and ended with a lay-up by her a minute later. That gave Southern Lehigh a 35-25 lead, which the Bulldogs could never recover from.
"We just couldn't seem to get a stop in the fourth quarter," Northern Lehigh head coach Dave Oertner said. "We didn't really shoot the ball well and we just couldn't finish."
A full-court press was employed by the victors the entire game, but the adjustments early on couldn't come quickly enough as Solehi took a 10-6 edge after one. Dougherty and Madelene McDonald both had four points in the period, while Rachel Hams had four for NL (7-8, 4-6).
The second was pretty even, with the Spartans taking a 11-10 advantage in the session for a 21-16 lead at the break.
Northern Lehigh's 15 first half turnovers gave way to plenty of easy buckets for the winners.
The third was interesting as the Bulldogs stepping up their own defense, limiting their counterparts to a sole point, as No. Lehigh pulled even after three.
"We have seen plenty of teams try to stop Aimee [Oertner] in the past," Coach Oertner said. "But tonight, that was the best job that anyone has done. They just took her out of the game."
Oertner finished the night with a team-high 10 points and 13 blocks while Hams matched the same point output.
Southern Lehigh got 15 from Dougherty and nine from Corinne Ozanne.
So. Lehigh also prevailed in the JV contest, 39-19.
Sullivan 3-0-0-6, Nemeth 0-1-2-1, Arnold 0-0-1-0, Yext 0-0-0-0, Dougherty 7-1-2-15, Amory 0-0-0-0, Campbell 0-0-0-0, Ozanne 3-3-6-9, McDonald 1-6-6-8, Prince 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 14-11-17-39.
Follweiler 3-0-0-6, Hams 5-0-0-10, Bastardi 2-2-2-6, Weil 0-0-0-0, Stauffer 0-0-1-0, Olewine 0-1-2-1, Oertner 3-4-7-10. TOTALS: 11-7-12-29.
So. Lehigh 10 11 1 17 - 39
No. Lehigh 6 10 6 7 - 29
Three pointers: SL – none; NL – none.