The Palmerton girls hung with the high-octane offense of Southern Lehigh for 19 minutes in last night's Colonial League girls basketball contest, before it ran out of steam and lost by a 79-50 score.
Like an unconditioned boxer, Palmerton seemed to go blow-for-blow early on before fatigue settled in, leading to certain doom. With the game tied at 35-all with five minutes left in the third quarter, a 9-0 run started the onslaught that went deep into the game before both sides cleared their benches.
"Conditioning was a factor," Palmerton head coach Don Delich admitted afterwards. "We didn't want to get into that up-and-down type of running game because we knew they would outrun us. However, (Southern Lehigh head coach) Megan (Dellegrotti) does a great job of getting other teams to do what they don't want to."
A full-court press led to 19 Palmerton turnovers in the game, adding to the runaway, and causing havoc with the Palmerton offense. Not only would the press eventually lead to easy layups, as a result, but also took Delich's squad out of their game plan.
"Their press wasn't a problem in the first quarter," Delich mentioned. "It wasn't a problem in the second. It started to be a problem in the third and definitely was a problem for us in the fourth."
In fact, both teams battled evenly early on in the first frame, as the score remained knotted at 16-16 after the initial eight-minute session. Palmerton's Morgan Mummey hit four of five shots for eight of her team's points, while teammate Lauren Solt added two layups and a put back down low for all of their team's output. Meanwhile, the Spartans' Brianna Prince and Madelene McDonald had four points apiece to keep the game tied.
Four different players scored for the Spartans in the second period's first two minutes, as they held a 25-20 lead with 6:02 left. But a nice Madison Mummey move and three points from Emelie Meinhart tied it up at 25-25.
However, a 10-2 run highlighted by five Mady Campbell points led to a 35-30 halftime lead for the Spartans.
"They are a well-coached team," Delich commended. "They are well-disciplined, and do a great job throughout the game and tonight, that was obvious."
To start the second half, Solt made a layup and it was followed by a three-point play by Mikayla Krupa to tie the game again at 35-35. However, the exhaustion seemed apparent, as they were outscored 18-6 the remainder of the third quarter, giving Southern Lehigh a 53-41 lead with eight minutes left.
Three mini-runs in the fourth frame spelled the end for PHS, which falls to 9-5 overall and 4-5 in the Colonial League, as they need to figure their problems out before heading to Salisbury on Friday.
"Salisbury has a big 6-3 kid and a very good guard," Delich stated. "If we play like we did in the first half, we'll be okay. If we play like we did in the second, we're going to be in trouble."
In the game, the winners placed four players in double figures, as McDonald's 21 led all scorers and Prince's 20 was right behind. Campbell had a nice game with 14 and Melann Amory chipped in with 10.
For Palmerton, Madison Mummey and Solt had 10, while Meinhart and Morgan Mummey had nine.
Cerciello 0-0-0-0, Mayer 0-0-0-0, Amory 4-0-0-10, Yext 2-0-0-6, Gallagher 0-0-0-0, Saraceno 1-1-1-3, Cyr 1-0-1-2, Campbell 6-2-7-14, McDonald 9-3-5-21, Reichley 0-0-0-0, Prince 8-4-7-20, Koziel 0-0-0-0, Mobley 0-0-0-0, Dex 1-1-2-3. TOTALS: 32-11-23-79.
Alban 0-0-0-0, Krupa 1-1-2-3, Ma. Mummey 5-0-0-10, Farquhar 0-7-8-7, Mo. Mummey 4-1-4-9, Tracy 0-0-0-0, Meinhart 4-1-2-9, Hadinger 0-0-0-0, Solt 5-0-2-10, Reimer 0-2-2-2. TOTALS: 19-12-20-50.
So. Lehigh 16 19 18 23 - 79
Palmerton 16 14 11 9 - 50
Three pointers: SL – Amory 2, Yext 2; P – none.