After starting the Colonial League season with five straight losses, Saucon Valley is one of the league's hottest teams.
The Panthers got their third league win in four games Friday night, beating Northwestern 58-36.
Sacuon Valley forced 14 turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game to build a big early lead and the Tigers never recovered.
"Defensive intensity has been our strength through this little streak," said Panther head coach Matt Brown. "We try to make it hard for the other team to run its offense. I think we did that very well."
The host Tigers had three starters affected by the flu. Starting point guard Josh Williamson missed the game while guard David Wagner and center Jarred Binder saw limited action.
"It's not worth pushing these guys and getting them sicker," said head coach Dan Eddinger. "We felt comfortable that our guys would step up. Unfortunately we just didn't play well. We didn't play good basketball, defensively or offensively."
Saucon Valley stifled the Tigers in the first half, allowing just two field goals on only 11 attempts. The Panthers, on the other hand, were getting just the shots they wanted and converting them. They shot 11-for-17 from the field in the first half.
"They did a really nice job running their offense," said Eddinger. "They were very disciplined. They ran it and ran it until they got something they liked."
The Tigers hung around for half of the first quarter. But after Collin Breidinger's basket made it 4-4 just over three minutes into the game, Northwestern didn't make another field goal the entire first half.
Saucon Valley outscored the Tigers 16-4 over the final 4:27 of the first quarter to build its lead to 20-8.
Northwestern's 9-for-12 first-half effort from the foul line kept the game from getting much further out of reach as the Panthers took a 29-13 lead into halftime.
They extended the lead over 20 for the first time on a Keith Mosher basket with 4:53 left in the third quarter. Mosher had six of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter. His 10 first-quarter points helped build the big early lead.
The Tigers (5-12 overall, 2-8 Colonial League) never got within 15 points in the second half.
The Tigers' high scorer was Breidinger with seven points. Saucon Valley's Matt Laub scored 17 points, with six in the first quarter.
The Panthers (6-10, 4-6) went winless through South Division play, but have gone 3-1 against North Division opponents and need to win four of their final six league games to earn a district playoff spot.
"That's the goal," said Brown. "We needed to get on a streak quickly and we did."
Weeks 0-0-2-0, Smith 2-2-2-6, Magan 1-0-0-2, Laub 5-7-13-17, Mosher 7-3-4-20, Simpson 0-2-2-2, Kane 2-0-0-4, Moughan 1-3-4-5, Headley 0-0-0-0, Callahan 1-0-0-2, Pazzaglia 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-17-27-58.
Wagner 0-1-2-1, Schuler 1-0-0-3, Mengel 1-0-0-3, T. Richardson 2-0-0-4, Jones 0-0-0-0, Betz 1-1-2-3, C. Breidinger 1-5-6-7, Schwartz 1-0-0-2, Shuey 0-0-2-0, Perry 1-3-6-5, C. Richardson 1-1-2-3, Binder 0-2-2-2, T. Breidinger 1-1-2-3, Archer 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 10-14-24-36.
Saucon Valley 20 9 15 14 – 58
Northwestern 8 5 12 11 – 36
Three-pointers: SV – Mosher 3; NW – Schuler 1, Mengel 1.