The Palmerton boys' basketball team found out Thursday evening just how well Northern Lehigh can use its size to its advantage.
Whether it on offense or defense, the Bombers found themselves continuously running into tall trouble at both ends of the court as the Bulldogs used their height to run away with a 61-24 Colonial League victory.
"We knew we had the size advantage and probably the strength advantage tonight," Miller said. "It's obviously a big part of what we try to do because it's one of the pluses we have over a lot of other teams.
"Their big people are young. They're going to be very good, but we wanted to take advantage early on and get the ball into the big guys and get those open looks. We did just that."
Tyler Dibilio showed the Bulldogs have some outside threats as well. He hit a three-pointer to start the scoring, Northern Lehigh started to move the ball inside a lot more after scoring 10 of its 15 first-quarter points outside the paint.
After holding onto a nine-point lead after one period, the Bulldogs worked the ball inside more on offense.
Their lead turned into double digits thanks to a 13-0 Northern Lehigh run. Senior Josh Eden finished off a three-point play on a put back and made two free throws after trying to put back another missed opportunity.
Even the smaller guys like Dibilio, who scored 10 points, and Matt Egan were taking advantage of screens set from Eden (6-foot-5), Caleb Johnson (6-5) and Lucas Pierce (6-7) to make their way inside for easy baskets on the run, which led to a 35-10 lead at half.
"This is what we need to do," said Eden, who finished with seven points in each of the first three quarters for a game-high 21 points. "We need to keep pounding the ball inside all year. We feel like that's our strength offensively and defensively.
"We can score on people. We can get them in foul trouble like we did. Defensively, we can alter shots and rebound and then hopefully push it. That's a key to our success this year."
The Bulldogs rattled off another run in the third quarter. Eden was a key contributor in a 15-2 spurt as he hit the lone shot that was outside of the paint in that quarter.
After holding onto a 53-14 lead after three periods, Miller chose to downsize and get his bench some playing time. It eased the tension for the Bombers, however, it was too late.
Palmerton coach Frank McCarroll watched his team have its best offensive output in a quarter that night. Mark Quinn, who finished with a team-high 10 points, and Zack Buck both paced the Bombers with three points a piece in the final frame.
While his team is still looking for its first win, McCarroll wanted his team to put this one behind them as soon as soon as the horn sounded.
"You're talking 20 turnovers, which led to about 40 of their points," said McCarroll. "Foul shooting again. In the first half we were 1-for-8. In the second half we weren't even better. Turnovers and foul shooting. That's it.
"We can't change it. It's done. It's over with. We're going to go back tomorrow. We're going to work hard on defense because that's pretty much our problem right now. We just can't get into the help position. We have three games coming up and we're going to work hard to win them."
Hay 0-0-2-0, Shigo 0-0-1-0, Achterman 1-0-0-2, Lesher 1-0-0-2, Pereira 0-0-0-0, Leaver 0-2-2-2, Quinn 4-2-4-10, Shivone 0-2-2-2, Koma 1-1-2-3, Buck 1-1-2-3, Frey 1-0-0-3, Luers 0-0-4-0. TOTALS: 8-7-17-24.
Hoffer 0-0-1-0, Egan 3-1-1-7, Dibilio 3-3-4-10, Taylor 0-0-0-0, Benitez 0-0-0-0, Eden 8-4-5-21, Hofmann 0-2-2-2, Landsberger 2-2-5-6, Sheetz 3-0-0-6, Johnson 3-1-2-7, Pierce 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 23-13-20-61.
Palmerton 6 4 4 10 - 24
No. Lehigh 15 20 18 8 - 61
Three-pointers: Palmerton - none; NL - Dibilio 1, Eden 1.