Rodney Strohl knew coming into the season that his Palmerton Lady Bombers would have to play tough defense and score off of turnovers because of their lack of size.
Trailing by three at the half, the Bombers made some adjustments and turned it up a notch to pull away for a 57-44 Colonial League win over perennial power Bangor.
Palmerton's full court pressure caused the Slaters to commit 38 turnovers. The Bombers also went to the line to take 41 foul shots and converted 24 and 16 of them were in the second half.
"We didn't change anything except move personnel around off the press," said Strohl, whose team is now 4-0 overall and 2-0 in league play with a big division matchup coming Tuesday at unbeaten Northwestern Lehigh. "We just wanted to keep going at them because we have no inside game. We got all of our points off of steals off the press and off the fast break.
"Maybe they got a little tired. Their passes weren't as crisp as they were early in the game. I know that teams are going to get second and third shots on us, but we got some second and third shots as well."
The Lady Bombers trailed by as much as six a couple of times in the first half as Chandler Zungolo scored nine points in the first quarter and six more in the second to keep the Slaters in front. Zungolo was held scoreless in the second half and finished with a team-high 15 points.
In the third quarter, with starters Madison Mummey and Janel Tracy saddled with foul trouble, Strohl had to count on Julia Paulinho and Lindsey Nemeth off the bench and filled in well. Paulinho chipped in with three fourth quarter points and Nemeth added four before eventually fouling out herself.
"Julia and Lindsey played great minutes for us tonight and it was really a team effort," said Strohl. "For me personally I still have to get to know the girls better. I'm an attack mode person because we just can't hold the ball yet. They don't want to hold the ball either."
With just over five minutes left in the third quarter, the Lady Bombers were able to tie it up at 30-30 and actually went on a 14-0 run that carried over into the fourth quarter, to take a 42-30 lead.
The closest Bangor would come was when it made it 47-41 with 4:31 remaining in the game as the Bombers oustscored them 10-3 the rest of the way.
Jade Farquhar had a game high 25 points, scoring 15 of them in the second half. She also pulled down 10 rebounds, five steals and five assists. Mummey backed her up with nine and also pulled down six rebounds. Mikayla Krupa added seven rebounds and four steals, while Abby Reimer also had five rebounds.
Zoe Kallus backed up Zungolo with 11 for Bangor.
It was a nice signature win for the Bombers.
"They were one of the top four teams in the league most of the time," said Strohl. "Those kids are well schooled and this was no sloppy win. We want to hold teams under 40 points if we can and it was close tonight."
Smith 0-1-2-1, Vass 0-1-2-1, Phillips 0-1-4-1, King 0-0-0-0, Shook 0-0-2-0, Green 2-0-1-4, Zungolo 7-1-1-15, Colton 2-1-4-5, Kallus 3-5-9-11, Baker 1-1-2-3, Robinson 0-0-0-0, Wilkens 1-0-0-2, Champa 0-1-2-1. TOTALS: 16-12-29-44.
Missal 0-0-0-0, Krupa 14-8-6, Mummey 4-1-2-9, Paulinho 1-1-5-3, Farquhar 6-12-14-25, Tracy 1-4-8-6, Reimer 1-2-4-4, Nemeth 2-0-0-4. TOTALS: 16-24-41-57.
Bangor 13 12 5 14 - 44
Palmerton 11 11 18 17 - 57
Three-pointers: Bangor - None; Palmerton - Farquhar 1.