Olympians get OT win over Bombers
MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS Palmerton point guard Jade Farquhar dribbles the ball out front as Jim Thorpe's Chasity Mosteller plays defense.
The Jim Thorpe girls' basketball team simply had enough.
The Olympians were tired of watching Palmerton walk away with a victory every time they faced each another in the Lady Indian Holiday Classic.
Monday night, Jim Thorpe finally changed that.
The Olympians gave themselves a late Christmas present by posting a 59-52 overtime victory over the Bombers.
It was a present that wasn't easy to unwrap, but it felt good once they did.
"I usually try to give a pre-game speech, and being an English teacher, I cited some (Charles) Dickens and I talked about the Ghost of Christmas Past a little bit," Jim Thorpe coach Rob Kovac said. "We have lost to Palmerton in some very competitive basketball games over the last five years in this tournament. A lot of them were kind of along the lines of tonight where they could have went either way.
"Palmerton had come out on the winning side of all of those previous games. So it was nice to be on this side for once."
Palmerton had played the part of Scrooge to Jim Thorpe over the years, including close games like 52-51 last year and 45-42 in 2008.
That finally turned around for Thorpe last night, but it wasn't easy.
Both offenses struggled somewhat in a first half that ended in a 19-19 tie.
In the second half, more excitement filled the air as both teams saw players step up.
While Jim Thorpe held a 33-27 lead after three quarters of play, it was a Palmerton underclassman that gave her team a spark in the fourth quarter. Jade Farquhar showed the Olympians' leading scorer Celeste Robinson that she may be the talent of the future as the Bomber freshman rattled off 13 of her team-high 25 points in the final eight minutes, which included a put-back off a Emily Meinhart miss to tie the game (46-46) with 5.1 seconds left in regulation.
In a game that needed overtime, it was Robinson, who showed everyone in attendance why she's the talent of the present. After the Bombers held her in check with eight first half points, the Olympian senior posted eight in the third quarter and seven more in the fourth. It was in the extra frame however, when Robinson gave her team the helping hand they needed with the last six points of her 29-point performance.
"The overtime period was a crucial point because we needed to get the momentum back in our favor," Robinson said. "At the end of the game when my team needed me, I tried to come through the best I could and I guess I did. But I couldn't have done it without my teammates. Everyone contributed and that's the reason we're going to the championship game."
In addition to Robinson, Chelsea Smelas chipped in 10 points and Kristin Lawrence added nine points for Jim Thorpe
"I think it was a great high school basketball game," Palmerton coach Don Delich said. "Obviously, Jim Thorpe is a really good team. I thought we played well tonight. But, it seems every time we play Jim Thorpe it's a really good game that goes down to the last minute. Tonight, it went into overtime. So, it was most definitely a great game."
The Bombers' Kelsey Hay finished with 12 points.
Rickert 0-0-0-0, Farquhar 7-6-6-25, Mo. Mummey 2-4-4-8, Meinhart 0-5-8-5, Eaton 1-0-0-2, Snyder 0-0-0-0, Hay 4-4-5-12. TOTALS: 16-19-23-52.
McElmoyle 0-0-1-0, Batts 0-3-4-3, Lawrence 3-0-0-9, Condly 0-0-0-0, Robinson 12-5-7-29, Mosteller 3-2-2-8, Smelas 3-4-5-10. TOTALS: 21-14-19-59.
Palmerton 7 12 8 19 6 - 52
Jim Thorpe 11 8 14 13 13 - 59
Three-pointers: Palmerton - Farquhar 1; Jim Thorpe - Lawrence 3.