Palmerton takes down ND
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Kristen Romano dribbles around Notre Dame's Allison Spirk as she makes a move to the basket.
Palmerton's girls basketball team hasn't had much luck against Notre Dame of Green Pond recently.
As a matter of fact, entering Saturday's District 11 Class 2A quarterfinal, the Lady Bombers hadn't won a district playoff game in five years.
That slide ended, however, when Palmerton led from start to finish for a 40-31 triumph and a spot in Tuesday's semifinal round.
The No. 4 seeded Lady Bombers (15-8) will meet No. 1 seed Tamaqua at Blue Mountain High School in a 6 p.m. tipoff.
In their only meeting this year, the Crusaders won 44-36, but Palmerton starting center Kelsey Hay sat out with a dislocated knee.
Hay was a big difference this time around as she had a game-high 14 points, 16 rebounds, three blocked shots and three assists. She was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"It's been a long time" said Palmerton head coach Don Delich, when asked how it felt to finally beat Notre Dame. "Kelsey (Hay) was definitely the difference between this one and our earlier meeting. I think we also played really good defense.(Leigh Ann) Lively getting three fouls in the first half hurt them."
Palmerton's defense caused Notre Dame to turn the ball over 20 times and Hay's presence enabled the Lady Bombers to finish with a 34-17 edge on the boards.
Katie Reimer was the recipient of a five-assist afternoon of junior point guard Casey Rinfret and some long passes from Hay as she finished with 12 points and added seven big rebounds.
"Katie (Reimer) is a real good shooter and Kelsey Hay is always looking to throw a long outlet pass when she sees someone open," said Delish.
Reimer was able to convert on a key breakaway layup with 1:51 left in the game after Allison Spirk missed a three-pointer that would have tied the game. Reimer's bucket gave the Lady Bombers a 33-28 lead and after a layup by Lively cut it to three again, Palmerton outscored the Crusaders 7-1 the rest of the way, all from the free throw line.
The Lady Bombers also got precious minutes from Jen Snyder, Gina Farquhar and Samantha Smith to keep Lively and Alicia Bercier, Notre Dame's two big scorers well under their average.
Brittany Pierzga and Lively both finished with seven points to lead the Crusaders in scoring.
"We'll enjoy this for a little, but now we play Tamaqua," said Delich. "They're real tough, but we'll accept the challenge."
L. Spirk 0-0-0-0, Lively 3-1-1-7, Klouda 1-0-1-2, Pierzga 2-3-5-7, Moran 2-0-0-4, A. Spirk 1-2-2-4, Bercier 2-0-0-5, McGivern 0-2-2-2.
Smith 0-0-0-0, Reimer 4-4-7-12, Romano 2-0-0-5, Rinfret 2-1-3-5, Farquhar 1-0-0-2, Snyder 1-0-0-2, Hay 4-6-6-14. TOTALS: 14-11-16-40.
No. Dame 4 9 7 11 - 31
Palmerton 9 10 8 13 - 40
Three-Pointers: No. Dame - Bercier 1; Palmerton - Romano 1.