Palmerton and Kelsey Hay know what to expect from opposing teams.
Sometimes, though, the problem is executing against it.
In a matchup Friday night against two of the top Colonial League girls team, Bangor packed it in against the reigning league MVP. And it proved to be the difference.
The Slaters' defensive effort not only frustrated the Blue Bombers and their 6-2 star player, but it also led them to a 30-23 victory.
"That's what we're going to expect every night," said Palmerton head coach Don Delich. "We had open looks. We just didn't do a good job of finishing.
"Give credit to Bangor and their kids. They executed their gameplan to perfection. The reason we didn't score wasn't as much our issues as it was a credit to them. They played great defense."
The Slaters (3-0; 2-0) limited Hay to nine points in the contest and forced the Bombers to hit from the perimeter, something they just couldn't do on a consistent basis.
"We were trying to take away the middle a little bit," said Bangor mentor Dale Godshalk. "We also wanted to make sure we were in good rebounding position.
"I think everybody expects so much out of her (Hay) and she expects so much out of herself. She works hard. And she may have been getting frustrated a little bit."
Palmerton had to be frustrated at halftime. Through the first two quarters, the Bombers (3-1; 1-1) committed 11 turnovers and trailed by a 20-8 score.
But the hosts managed to get back in the game with a solid third frame.
"There's no quit in these kids," said Delich. "They're going to play hard to the end."
Delich's squad kept Bangor off the scoreboard in the third quarter and used a three-pointer from Jade Farquhar and an inside bucket from Morgan Mummey to help trim the deficit to five points.
Samantha Hopkins, however, banked in a trey to start the final period and hit a baseline jumper to quickly extend the Slaters advantage to 25-16.
"We didn't score in the third quarter," said Godshalk. "The important part is they played through it. They worked hard to get through the quarter. We came out in the fourth quarter and made some shots."
Farquhar, who led the Bombers with 10 points, hit a driving shot and another three with under a minute to play to cut the gap to 28-23 but couldn't get any closer.
"It was a learning experience for us," said Delich. "We have a lot of young kids out there. It was a good game for us. I thought we played very hard in the second half."
Hay added eight rebounds to her nine points. Bangor's inside presence, Morgan McCollian, scored a game-high 12 points and added eight boards.
"McCollian is a very nice player," said Delich. "She's tough and she's physical. She neutralized Kelsey tonight."
In the JV game, Bangor gained a 35-29 victory. Palmerton's Janel Tracy had nine points.
Hopkins 3-3-5-10, Watts 1-0-0-2, Dentith 1-0-0-2, Zungolo 0-0-0-0, Bisci 0-0-0-0, Schiavone 1-2-4-4, McCollian 5-2-2-12. TOTALS: 11-7-11-30.
Hadinger 0-0-0-0, Rickert 0-0-0-0, Farquhar 3-2-4-10, Mummey 1-0-0-2, Meinhart 1-0-0-2, Snyder 0-0-0-0, Hay 2-5-7-9. TOTALS: 7-7-11-23.
Bangor 5 15 0 10 - 30
Palmeron 4 4 7 8 - 23
Three-pointers: Bangor - Hopkins 1; Palmerton - Farquhar 2.