Any time that Northwestern can garner a win in the Colonial League, their head coach, Dan Eddinger will be content. However, his happiness was tested in last night's 55-44 win over Palmerton, as the game was marred with fouls, turnovers, blown layups and missed free throws from both sides.
The Tigers outscored the Bombers in each of the first three frames, building a lead that proved all too insurmountable for the winless hosts. However, that did not stop Palmerton (0-19 overall, 0-14 CL), from making a run at the come-from-behind win.
"Any time that we can come away with a win in the Colonial League on the road, I'm going to be happy," coach Eddinger said. "I told the kids after the game that I have never been a part of a game that seemed so undisciplined. Our players were fouling 50-80 feet away from the basket and there's no need for that."
The game saw the total team foul count reach the upper 50s, with the two participating squads attempting 77 free throws. The turnover count for both teams was high, as well, with both sides reaching the 20s in that category. However, the defensive intensity caused for plenty of these miscues.
"Effort has never been a problem for us," Eddinger reiterated. "Obviously there were issues with our performance. But we got a win, so we're happy."
The first frame saw both teams come out with intensity on their faces, game plans intact, and plenty of effort. After the initial eight minutes, Northwestern held a slim 11-7 lead. Cameron Richardson had five points for the Tigers to help with the lead, while Palmerton got three points from Mark Quinn.
In the second period, Northwestern added some beef to their lead, outscoring the Bombers 17-11. NW's Collin Breidinger tallied six and teammate Mason Schuler chipped in four. Meanwhile, Logan Lesher had all five of his points in the session, while Quinn added four.
Trailing by 10 points at the break, Palmerton head coach Frank McCarroll reinstated the plan of attack in his lineup and it seemed to work, as the Bombers came out attacking in the third.
"I was proud of the kids' effort, defensively, because they kept pressuring them," McCarroll said. "We cut into their lead at times, but then we missed some free throws and that hurt us."
Despite some Bomber runs, Northwestern stretched its lead to 44-32 after the third.
The fourth quarter, althoughfilled with mistakes, was also filled with intensity, as the hosts pulled within nine with 2:21 left on the clock after Achterman converted a pair of charity tosses.
But that was as close as they would get the rest of the way as Northwestern eventually snared the win.
"We have a lot to work on for the match-up with Bangor on Tuesday night, which is Senior Night," Eddinger said. "We need to put together a strong first quarter and then maintain it for the entire game."
In the contest, Palmerton's Quinn led all scorers with a game-high 17 points while Achterman added 10.
Northwestern saw only one player reach doubles, as Cameron Richardson tallied 15. David Wagner added nine and Breidinger eight in the well-rounded effort.
Wagner 4-1-2-9, Williamson 0-7-10-7, Schuler 1-1-2-3, T. Richardson 3-0-2-6, Breininger 0-0-0-0, Betz 0-0-0-0, Breidinger 2-4-6-8, Perry 1-0-0-2, C. Richardson 4-7-12-15, Binder 1-3-4-5. TOTALS: 16-23-41-55.
Hay 2-2-4-6, Achterman 2-8-10-12, Lesher 2-0-7-5, Pereira 0-0-0-0, Quinn 5-7-12-17, Shivone 1-0-0-2, Koma 0-0-2-0, Buck 0-0-0-0, Frey 0-0-1-0, Luers 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 13-17-36-44.
Northwestern 11 17 16 11 - 55
Palmerton 7 11 14 12 - 44
Three pointers: NW – none; P – Lesher 1.