First win of year
With just two games remaining on its schedule and no wins to speak for, it was do-or-die time for the Palmerton boys basketball team.
And the Blue Bombers delivered.
Junior Ty Achterman calmly sank two free throws with three seconds remaining to give the Bombers a 57-54 Colonial League victory over Pen Argyl (4-17, 1-14).
The Bombers held a 10-point lead (54-44) with three minutes remaining in the game, but the Green Knights battled back to pull within one (55-54) before Achterman went to the line and converted.
"They were focused and told us as coaches they were going to come out and play hard tonight," said Palmerton head coach Frank McCarroll. "I'm very happy for them.
"We went down 10 right off the bat and I called the time out. Even the kids on the bench were saying to just get that first bucket and we'll take it from there."
And that's what the Bombers did.
Matt Leaver and Logan Lesher hit threes and Mark Quinn made a pair of buckets to tie it at 10-10 before Chris Muller countered with a driving layup before the buzzer.
Austin Bender had eight of Pen Argyl's 12 points in the quarter, but managed just five the rest of the night.
After three lead changes in the second quarter, the Bombers were able to build up a six-point lead (27-21) at intermission as Leaver added five and Lesher four.
The Bombers managed to build up a 10-point lead in the third quarter as Quinn had six, but the Knights battled back to cut it to one before Palmerton pulled away again for a 44-38 lead entering the final eight minutes.
Nick Oyer had seven points in the third quarter for the Green Knights.
Five points from Lesher and three each from Quinn and Leaver set up the moment for Achterman. Zach Hoffmann and Kris Wentzell had six each in the fourth quarter to help Pen Argyl take a shot in the end.
There were moments when it got close down the stretch that the Bombers could have folded, but there was no quit in them this time around.
"I never questioned the determination and hustle of these kids," McCarroll said. "They come to practice and practice hard.
"They could have given up weeks ago, but it just goes to show you that they work hard for me and the rest of the staff."
With Lesher and Quinn both finishing with 16 points, Leaver added 14. Pen Argyl was led by Bender's 13, Hoffmann with 12 and Oyer and Wentzell with 10 apiece.
The Bombers (1-20, 1-14) end the season at home with "Senor Night" tonight against arch-rival Northern Lehigh.
In the JV game, Palmerton dropped a 53-43 decision. The Blue Bombers were led by Zack Buck's 14 points.
Bender 6-0-1-13, Houck 0-0-0-0,Gillette 0-0-0-0, Muller 3-3-5-9, Hoffmann 5-2-5-12, Oyer 3-2-2-10, Wentzel 4-2-4-10. TOTALS: 21-9-17-54.
Hay 0-2-2-2, Achterman 0-4-4-4, Lesher 6-2-2-16, Leaver 4-5-10-14, Quinn 6-4-8-16, Koma 1-0-0-2, Buck 1-0-0-3, Luers 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-17-26-57.
Pen Argyl 12 9 17 16 - 54
Palmerton 10 17 17 13 - 57
Three-pointers: Pen Argyl - Oyer 2, Bender 1; Palmerton - Lesher 2, Leaver 1, Buck 1.