Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch didn't like his team's play in the first quarter of last night's Colonial league girls' basketball game against Palmerton as the two were tied 8-8.
"I thought that was one the worst quarters we have played," he said.
Luckily for him his Lady Tigers (6-0 overall, 3-0 CL) turned it around on their home court and handed the Lady Blue Bombers their first loss of the season, 56-33.
Both teams combined for 12 turnovers in the first quarter of this quick contest which resulted in the 8-8 score. That style of play spilled over into the second quarter as well before a 13-0 run by the Tigers that spanned the last four minutes of the first half built a comfortable 26-14 lead for Northwestern heading into the locker room.
"I think we really turned it up a notch," Deutsch said of his team's run. "We played excellent defensively as well. I thought our defense did very well holding their big shooters all night."
The Northwestern defense kept Palmerton (4-1, 2-1) in check after the first quarter as it only allowed junior Jade Farquhar, Palmerton's leading scorer, to nine points. Fellow junior Madison Mummey contributed eight points as well.
The Tigers' lead increased after the third quarter to 46-24 thanks in large part to Northwestern senior Trista Cunningham who had seven of her seventeen points and seven of her nine rebounds in the third.
"We had no inside game against her," said Palmerton head coach Rodney Strohl. "Cunningham did a great job. She is a real nice player."
Cunningham, who sat most of the fourth with being one rebound shy of a double-double, got the same praise from her own coach.
"I thought, by far, the best player for us was Trista Cunningham," Deutsch said. "She dominated, in my mind, inside, rebounding and scoring. They didn't have an answer for her."
Junior Sarah Segan chipped in 14 points (12 coming in the second half) and three rebounds as well. Also, sophomore Erika Thomas had 10 points, with two three-pointers.
Cunningham talked about the turnaround after the first.
"I think after being 8-8 in the first quarter we really needed to get our heads into it," she said. "We realized that we needed to connect and work more together. We got that working in the second half and that really helped us."
Northwestern wore down Palmerton by pushing the ball and by pressing full court for most of the first half. The Tigers scaled back their offense and sent in their deep, quality bench to seal the victory and hold the score at 56-33.
The Lady Tigers' didn't please their coach at the start, but they made him proud by the finish.
Missal 0-0-0-0, Smale 0-0-0-0, Krupa 2-3-4-7, Mummey 3-0-0-8, Paulinho 1-0-0-3, Farquhar 4-0-0-9, Sterling 0-0-0-0, Tracey 0-0-2-0, Reimer 3-0-0-6, Muffley 0-0-0-0, Beers 0-0-0-0, Nemeth 0-0-0-0. Totals: 13-3-6-33
Mertz 3-2-3-9, Landrigan 0-0-0-0, Day 2-0-0-4, Divers 0-0-0-0, Hebelka 0-0-0-0, Segan 7-0-0-14, Pasquale 0-0-0-0, Koening 1-0-0-2, Bennett 0-0-0-0, Slack 0-0-0-0, Dietrich 0-0-0-0, Thomas 3-2-2-10, Cunningham 7-3-5-17, Anderson 0-0-0-0. Totals: 23-7-10-56
Palmerton 8 6 10 9 - 33
Northwestern 8 18 20 10 - 56
Three-pointers: P - Mummey 2, Paulinho 1, Farquhar 1; NW - Mertz 1, Thomas 2.