The Tamaqua Lady Raiders are hitting their stride and just at the right time.
With district playoffs looming Tamaqua has been playing their best basketball of the season and continued their strong play, handling Panther Valley 59-41 to end the 2013 regular season.
The Lady Raiders (16-6) have won a remarkable 11 out of there last 12 games. They showed the Panthers (11-11) from the start last night that they were going to push the envelope. Tamaqua outscored PV 33-17 in the first half and took the Panthers out of their comfort zone by denying their top scorer Abby Whildin (15.33 ppg) the ball. Raiders' point guard and defensive stopper Maria Streisel blanketed Whildin all throughout the first half, holding her to just four points.
"It was a top priority for us to keep the ball out of her hands," said Tamaqua coach Joe Berezwick. "She had 23 against us the last time out and they played us pretty tough the whole way, so we wanted to limit her touches. Maria did a great job on her when we denied her full court and it stalled their offense a bit their in the first half."
Stalled is an understatement as the Panthers shot just 5-for-22 from the field in the first half. The Raiders dominant first half also had a lot to do with their offensive flow. Maria Streisel (14) and Christine Streisel (15) combined for 29 of the Raiders 33 points in the first half slicing and shooting their way through the Panthers defense. The Tamaqua offense used screen after screen to get Christine open, while Maria used a different approach. Maria Streisel took advantage of the P