Sometimes all a team needs to regain its edge is a little break.
Playing its first game in six days, the Palmerton girls basketball team certainly looked to have recaptured its early season form in a convincing 59-24 win over Jim Thorpe in the opening round of the Lady Indian Holiday Classic.
"I'm very happy because we just played Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week and the girls were tired. But we looked fresh tonight," said Palmerton coach Rodney Strohl. "I thought we played very well during the first half and we didn't let the girls get sloppy at all, which was a good thing coming back from a bit of a break here. We looked well-rested and ready to play tonight."
Palmerton (6-2) looked eager to play from the opening tip in starting the game with a 6-0 run that translated to a 21-3 lead after the first quarter.
The trend continued in the second quarter, as the Lady Bombers opened with an 11-2 run that was keyed by Jade Farquhar's seven point outburst to take a commanding 39-11 lead heading into halftime.
Farquhar finished with a game-high 19 points, while Madison Mummey contributed 11 points in a well-rounded effort for Palmerton that saw a total of 10 girls tally points.
"Lindsey Nemeth did a nice job during the first half coming off the bench, as did Julia Palinho," Strohl said. "We had good help and that allows us to rotate two girls at a time, which allows us to press (on defense) like we want to all game long."
The Lady Bombers defensive pressure stifled Jim Thorpe (0-6) in the first half, as the Lady Olympians managed only two field goals while going 7-for-9 at the foul line.
Palmerton's attacking style of defense was something Jim Thorpe coach Rob Kovac was certainly aware of and an aspect of the Lady Bombers game he knew would give his team trouble.
"They really bothered us with the pressure and we knew coming into the game that we were going to have some trouble with that," the coach said. "This was probably one of the worst matchups we could see because we knew the amount of ball pressure Palmerton was going to put on (us) and we anticipated that we were going to have some problems with that.
"But credit Palmerton because they came out and played their style of basketball. They got turnovers, got out in transition on offense and hit some shots."
Rebecca Cressman paced Jim Thorpe with seven points while Alexis Naranjo and Gabbie Binder each added five points apiece.
The Lady Olympians will have a chance to atone for the loss in tonight's consolation game against Northern Lehigh, an opportunity Kovac and his team welcome.
"Whether we play better or worse tomorrow, one thing is certain - we're going to play harder," he said. "That is the primary goal for tomorrow night."
For Palmerton, the focus shifts to a spot in tonight's title game against a Lehighton squad it defeated 59-47 in the season opener in the very same gym.
Regardless of the opponent or the situation, Strohl will make sure the Lady Bombers are ready to play at a high level, much like they did against the Lady Olympians.
"We play each team like they're a championship team," the coach said. "That's the kind of quality basketball I want our girls to play. We have to focus on what we do well and continue to do that.
"We didn't go through any lulls (against Jim Thorpe) the way we did during the last couple of games and I'm very happy with that."
Cope 0-0-0-0, Condly 0-1-2-1, Naranjo 1-3-5-5, Ennis 1-0-0-3, Rusbarsky 1-0-2-2, Cressman 1-5-7-7, Becker 0-1-2-1, Binder 1-2-3-5, Bush 0-0-2-0. TOTALS: 5-12-23-24.
Smale 0-0-0-0, Krupa 1-0-0-2, Mummey 4-3-3-11, Paulinho 1-3-4-5, Farquhar 8-2-2-19, Sterling 1-0-0-2, Reimer 2-0-0-4, Muffley 1-0-0-2, Beers 0-1-3-1, Nemeth 2-2-2-6, Tracy 3-1-4-7. TOTALS: 23-12-18-59.
Jim Thorpe 3 8 5 8 - 24
Palmerton 21 18 12 8 - 59
Three pointers: JT - Ennis 1; P - Farquhar 1.