Quick start lifts Bombers
Palmerton never let Northwestern get into its game plan on Saturday night.
The Blue Bombers ran off the first 18 points of the game, outscoring the Tigers 15-0 in the first eight minutes and coasted to a 53-31 Colonial League victory in the Northwestern gym.
"You've got to give credit to Palmerton," said Northwestern head coach B.J. Dugan. "They came out and were very aggressive. We struggle against pressure. We knew they were going to change it up. Coach Snyder likes to do that and keep you off balance.
"We weren't ready to play. We weren't ready to play defensively. We didn't run. We didn't talk. We didn't do any of the basics you have to do to be a successful team."
The Tigers (1-4, 0-3) couldn't handle the pressure defense applied by the Bombers (3-1, 2-1) and had a horrible shooting night to add to their demise.
"We were happy we got a great start," said Palmerton head coach Mike Snyder. "Especially since we are injured. We basically have 10 kids practicing."
Both seniors, Joey Tyahla (hand in cast) and Jordan Reinhardt (stitches in his eyelid) didn't play and junior Kyle Ruch, who started the season opener against Lehighton hasn't played since suffering a concussion against the Indians.
"Those are three main guys for us," Snyder said. "Bradley Ehret when healthy will see a lot more varsity time. He got some floor time in the end tonight.
"The only positive about these kids being hurt is it's giving (Matthew) Leaver and Ryan Saylor excellent varsity time."
Ben Andrews and Brett Snyder were deadly from beyong the arc with Andrews hitting two treys and Snyder adding another in the big first quarter. Cody Geist chipped in with four more as the Bombers exploded for the big lead early.
At one point, Dugan had all five of his starters on the bench as he looked for a combination that might work.
"We found some guys who were willing to hustle and were willing to scrap and were willing to claw," said Dugan. "I thing a big difference in the game was that Palmerton made nine three's. And we did not shoot well."
Northwestern didn't get its first field goal until there was 6:29 remaining in the first half when Shelby Storm scored from underneath.
The Bombers built up a 25-6 halftime advantage as Andrews and Snyder each hit another three-pointer and Leaver and Geist both added a field goal apiece.
Palmerton, behind eight points by Snyder, opened up a 40-12 lead only to see the Tigers scored the last eight points of the third quarter to make it 40-20 entering the last eight minutes. Peyton Bachman's seven points helped Northwestern almost match the Bombers in the period.
Leaver took control for the Bombers in the fourth period as he scored eight of his 14 points to fend off any thoughts of a Tiger comeback.
"Those four other kids, Geist, Andrews Svetik and Brett (Snyder) hustle, they move the ball, they defense well and do the little things," said Snyder. "We want to beat the teams we feel we can beat and hopefully knock off someone we shouldn't."
Snyder and Andrews joined Leaver in double figures for the Bombers with 17 and 12 respectively. Bachman's eight points were high for Northwestern.
Horvath 0-0-0-0, Andrews 4-0-0-12, Svetik 1-0-0-2, Snyder 6-0-0-17, Leaver 5-4-6-14, Ehret 1-0-0-2, Gutekunst 0-0-0-0, Saylor 0-0-0-0, Geist 2-0-1-6. TOTALS: 20-4-7-53.
L. Rivera 0-0-0-0, Snyder 0-0-1-0, A. Rivera 1-1-2-3, Roth 0-2-2-2, Bachman 2-3-4-8, Ettl 1-0-0-2, Maher 1-1-2-3, Dorney 0-0-0-0, M. Rivera 1-0-0-3, Williams 0-0-0-0, Storm 1-0-0-2, Cunningham 3-0-0-6, Richardson 1-0-0-2, Danner 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 11-7-11-30.
Palmerton 15 10 15 13 - 53
Northwestern 0 6 14 11 - 31
Three-pointers: Palmerton - Snyder 5, Andrews 4; NW - Bachman 1, M. Rivera 1