If a novelist was to write a book about Palmerton's performance against Bethlehem Central Catholic on Saturday afternoon they might have borrowed a title from Charles Dickens' most famous novel, A Tale of Two Cities. However, they might have tweaked it a bit, changing the title to a A Tale of Two Halves.
The Lady Bombers played well and stuck with the Golden Hawks for the first half, trailing by just four at the break. Unfortunately, for Palmerton the plot of the afternoon called for a big Becahi run in the second half as they outscored the Bombers 33-18 in the final two quarters to come away with a 60-41 victory.
The win advances the Golden Hawks to the District 11 AAA girls semifinal.
Becahi looked poised to blow the doors off the Bombers early, going on an 11-2 run in the first six minutes of the game. Palmerton had a tough time dealing with Becahi's full-court pressure, turning it over six times in that stretch. The Golden Hawks then got in a little foul trouble, which forced them to play the Bombers in a half-court man-to-man defense. This allowed Palmerton to run their sets and get back in the game. Palmerton went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter, closing within three heading into the second.
"We were doing a good job of getting them to turn the ball over, but then we got into some foul trouble," said Becahi coach Bill Lanscek. "I've been expressing this to officials all season long about teams setting a lot of moving screens when they run their man offenses. I feel like we've gotten into foul trouble a couple times this year because of that. So, we made the decision at halftime to switch to a more match-up type zone in the second half."
Back-to-back triples by Palmerton to start the second quarter gave the Bombers a three-point lead an they led for most for the second quarter. The Golden Hawks grabbed back the lead when Kalista Walters hit a three from the corner around the two minute mark and Becahi held a four point lead at intermission.
That's when Walters and Becahi took over. The 6-1 super sophomore scored 10 points in the third, helping Becahi go on a 20-2 run in the frame. Coach Lanscek's decision to switch the Golden Hawks to a 2-3 match-up zone was a good one as the Bombers shot just 1-for-7 and coughed it up six times.
"I just think their athleticism and physicality took over in the second half," said Palmerton coach Don Delich. "They are just more physically gifted than us and it showed in the second half, all the credit to them. They just really killed in us in transition there, we got tired and they were able to run on us. Emelie Meinhart getting in foul trouble hurt us a lot as well because in our match-up defense she was guarding Walters and I think she did a pretty good job on her in the first half."
After Becahi's 20-2 third quarter run they held a 47-25 edge entering the fourth. The Bombers were in too much foul trouble to mount a comeback and Walters once again showcased her talent, scoring eight of the Golden Hawks 13 points fourth quarter points. She finished with a game-high 29 points, with 18 of them coming in the second half.
"The key for us in this one was to get some stops on defense and get out into transition and we got that going in the third, mainly with Kalista (Walters)," said Lanscek. "We just needed to come out and play with more intensity in the second half and we did a good job of that. It's funny because we had more intensity in our zone than in our man defense, but we did some real good things there in the second half and it all worked out."
The Bombers Jade Farquhar was their only player in double figures, scoring 15 points.
Mo. Mummey 0-1-2-1, Meinhart 1-2-4-4, Solt 0-2-4-2, Alban 0-0-0-0, Krupa 0-0-0-0, Farquhar 4-6-12-15, Ma. Mummey 1-0-0-2, Reimer 2-3-4-7, Tracy 2-2-2-8, Paulinho 0-1-2-1, Nemeth 0-1-2-1. TOTALS: 10-18-32-41.
Jones 2-4-6-8, Reiman 0-0-0-0, Rau 0-0-0-0, Lacherza 1-1-3-3, Brader 1-0-0-2, Mims 0-0-0-0, Perez 1-1-2-3, Smith 3-3-4-9, Walters 11-6-10-29, Griffin 2-2-4-6. TOTALS: 21-17-29-60.
Palmerton 8 15 2 16 - 41
Becahi 11 16 20 13 - 60
Three-pointers: P - Tracy 2, Farquhar 1. B - Walters 1.