Bulldogs pull away to beat Bombers
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh's Caleb Johnson (44) goes up for two as he drives the lane in between Palmerton's Bretty Snyder and Tyler Svetik (11).
Northern Lehigh head coach Jeff Miller hasn't seen his team in many close games yet this season. So he really didn't know how the Bulldogs would react when the time actually came.
The Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1) found themselves trailing Palmerton (5-3, 3-2) with less than two minutes remaining in the first half on Tuesday night and Miller got his answer.
An 8-0 run to end the half gave them the lead and they went on to keep the momentum in the third period en route to a 49-36 Colonial League victory.
"The tempo wasn't necessarily in our favor," said Miller, whose team likes to play pressure defense and run the floor for fast break layups. "They did what they needed to do to try and win the game and it was a learning experience for us.
"I think we gutted it out when we needed to, had that little run which certainly helped us. In our one loss (to Bangor) we got blown out and a lot of our wins have been double-digit wins.
"It's good to play a game like this. It was a different type game than we're accustomed to playing. We want to get up and down the floor and they certainly slowed it down on us."
The Bombers actually grabbed the lead at the end of the first period scoring the last four points for a 9-7 advantage as Brett Snyder had five of his nine points early.
Palmerton had a 16-15 lead late in the first half, but two quick buckets off steals by Jordan Waylen and a wide open three-pointer from Thatcher George gave the Bulldogs a 23-16 halftime lead with the momentum on their side.
The experienced Waylen took charge when he needed to scoring eight of his game high points in the second period to give his team an uplift.
"Jordan took charge when he need to," said Miller. "They're going to look for Jordan and we're going to look for him to get us through those periods of struggling to score. He finds way to score and that's where he's improved his game. In the past he's been known strictly as a shooter. Now he's going to the bucket, getting to the foul line and finding other ways to score.
"We're right where we hoped to be so hopefully we can keep this run going a little while longer."
The Bulldogs continued to build on its lead by outscoring the Bombers 14-4 in the third quarter and Waylen and Caleb Johnson each scored six points.
Johnson, Lucas Pierce and Devon Glose each added a pair of baskets in the final eight minutes to keep the Bombers from getting any closer than 11 points.
"They are a very good team," said Palmerton head coach Mike Snyder afterwards, who had to go without starter Ben Andrews who has his left hand in a cast. "I told the kids they are the best, or second best team in the league.
"I thought we did fine. We knew we couldn't get in a running game with them and had to keep them under 50 points. We were without Ben and Kyle Ruch, two players who have good basketball IQ's. We had too many key turnovers tonight.
"We're not the most athletic team to begin with and the injuries are tough to overcome. So we're just going to have to play intelligent basketball."
Backing up Waylen for the Bulldogs was Johnson with 13. Tyler Svetik matched Snyder's nine points for the Bombers.
Northern Lehigh made it a clean sweep with a 64-29 win in the JV game.
Svetik 3-2-2-9, Snyder 2-3-5-9, Leaver 2-0-2-5, Geist 2-1-3-5, Reinhart 3-0-0-6, Saylor 1-0-0-2, Tyahla 0-0-0-0, Leon 0-0-0-0. Totals 13-6-12-36.
Glose 4-0-0-8, Waylen 6-4-7-19, Rankin 1-0-0-2, Johnson 5-3-4-13, Pierce 2-0-2-4, Middaugh 0-0-0-0, Malaska 0-0-0-0, George 1-0-0-3, Dibilio 0-0-0-0. Totals 19-7-13-49.
Palmerton 9 7 4 16 - 36
No. Lehigh 7 16 12 14 - 49
Three-pointers - Palmerton: Snyder 2, Svetik 1, Leaver 1; No. Lehigh - Waylen 3, George 1.