Six-foot seven-inches of height provides a basketball player plenty of inside advantage over defenders. Now, imagine that same player can stick the 10 to 15 foot jumper with consistency and the scoring threat becomes more lethal.
Such is the case with Northern Lehigh senior, Lucas Pierce. In Tuesday night's 47-27 win over visiting Saucon Valley, Pierce led the offensive charge for the Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1) as they pulled away down the stretch for the Colonial League win.
Five of Pierce's seven field goals were from the elbow or further as he compiled 15 points on the night. Offensive sets yielded plenty of high-post opportunities for Pierce and he took advantage.
"With [6-5] Caleb [Johnson] inside, he's down there and I know he can get some rebounds, so I try to make that shot," Pierce said. "A majority of the time, that's within my range."
Pierce started the game's scoring with an elbow jumper, helping the Bulldogs to a 12-6 advantage after one.
The offensive firepower fizzled in the second quarter as Northern Lehigh increased its lead to 19-12 at halftime.
The lack of offense in the quarter help motivatate Pierce.
"We weren't really shooting too well in the first half, so I figured I wanted to be more aggressive," he said.
In the third quarter, the Northern Lehigh lead was eight after a Sean Redding lay-up. Pierce started a 7-3 run with a turn-around from the elbow and a 15-footer from near the top of the key with 4:44 left. After a Tyler Dibilio free throw ballooned the lead to 31-18, Pierce hit a free throw and a jumper to close out the quarter and put the Bulldogs ahead 34-23.
"When (Pierce) is hitting that shot, it's going to cause problems for teams," Northern Lehigh head coach Jeff Miller said.
The fourth quarter was a total team effort from the victors with Devin Glose and Pierce totalling four points each and the Bulldogs' 7-for-8 free throw clip allowing them to win going away.
"Any Colonial League win is a big win," Miller said. "Offensively, I didn't think we played our best, but defensively, we kept giving them different looks to keep them off-balance and I think that was the difference tonight."
Other than Pierce's 15 points, Dibilio's eight and seven apiece from Josh Eden and Johnson supported the cause.
The Panthers (4-7, 3-4), were led by Christian Kennedy's nine.
Northern Lehigh won the JV contest, 49-42. Matt Egan's 16 led the Bulldogs..
Martin 1-0-0-2, Weeks 0-0-0-0, Sinko 0-0-0-0, Hough 0-0-0-0, Redding 3-0-2-6, Paskiewicz 0-0-0-0, Mosher 1-0-0-2, Laub 4-0-0-8, Moughan 0-0-0-0, Poli 0-0-0-0, Kennedy 4-1-2-9. TOTALS: 13-1-4-27.
George 0-0-0-0, Egan 0-2-2-2, Dibilio 2-3-4-8, Pristash 0-0-0-0, Glose 1-2-4-4, Eden 3-0-0-7, Landsberger 0-2-4-2, Johnson 3-1-3-7, Pierce 7-1-2-15. TOTALS: 17-11-19-47.
Saucon Valley 6 6 11 4 - 27
No. Lehigh 12 7 15 13 - 47
Three pointers: SV - none; NL - Eden 1, Dibilio 1.