The old saying slow and steady, steady and slow, that's the way to always go is not an adage that usually pertains to the Tamaqua girls basketball program. The Lady Raiders have been known over the last few seasons as a team that likes to push the basketball and speed up the tempo.
It might have took the Raiders a quarter to get their engines warmed up, but once they did they took control, finishing strong and coming up with a 47-35 Schuylkill League Division 1 victory.
In the first quarter, Tamaqua (5-3) did not play their brand of basketball and it showed.
The Crimson Tide (4-4), which are a squad that likes to play a more slow paced style, forced the Raiders into some tough shots and also did a good job of working the ball inside to Taylor Eckley. Eckley had her way in the paint in the first quarter, scoring seven points. The Raiders also missed their first 10 shots of the game and faced an 11-8 disadvantage heading into the second.
"We really did some things well in that first quarter and got some good looks in the paint," said Pottsville coach Rick Wojciechowsky. "We also did a nice job of forcing them to take some outside shots that got us some one and done situations on the defensive end. Unfortunately, we came out flat in the second and third and they came out with a lot of energy."
Tamaqua came out in the second quarter and played their game, pressuring Pottsville in the full-court, in turn getting better offensive looks. Kori Kabilko sparked the Raiders 13-6 run in the second, scoring six points all from the outside, which opened up the driving lanes for the Tamaqua offense.
"We weathered the storm in that first quarter and then we got our pressure going in the second and that really turned the game around for us," said Tamaqua coach Joe Berezwick. "Also Kori Kabilko got us going there in the second. She had a good shooting night for us, they gave her some room and she made them pay."
The third and fourth went much of the same way for the Raiders with Maria and Christine Streisel taking advantage of the increased tempo of the game. Each had 15 points on the night to go along with a supreme effort on the boards. Christine tallying nine rebounds, while Maria grabbed eight. The Tide just didn't have an answer for the duo once the game became fast paced.
"Pottsville played us tough tonight, but we got the job done," said Berezwick. "Christine and Maria did a great job of taking care of the ball for us and they go some good looks and put them down in those last three quarters. We kind of played into their hands there a little in the first, but after that we elevated the tempo and they weren't able to set up in the half-court."
Hartung 0-0-0-0, Demetriades 0-0-0-0, Slivka 0-0-0-0, Kabilko 4-1-2-9, M. Streisel 4-7-8-15, C. Streisel 6-2-4-15, Solt, V. 1-0-0-2, Jones 0-0-0-0, Valasek 0-0-0-0, Wittig 0-0-0-0, Solt, A. 2-2-6-6. TOTALS: 17-12-20-47
Spece 3-0-0-6, Burnhauser 0-2-2-2, N. Eckley 0-0-0-0, Moser 1-0-0-2, Ryan 2-0-0-4, Boran 2-0-0-4, Cresswell 1-2-2-4, T. Eckley 4-1-2-9, Bulino 2-0-0-4, Hook 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 15-5-6-35
Tamaqua 16 13 16 10 - 47
Pottsville 11 6 8 10 - 35
Three Pointers: T - C. Streisel-1; P None.