Nolehi's height too much for Tigers
Northern Lehigh starts three players that stand 6-feet, 5-inches or taller.
Northwestern only has two players on its roster that are over 6-feet.
The Bulldogs' Josh Eden drew the mismatch and took advantage of it, scoring 21 points in a 57-32 win over the Tigers Tuesday night in New Tripoli.
"The kid guarding me, I had several inches on him," said Eden, a 6-5 senior forward. "Early on coach told the guys to look for me in the post. I got some easy ones around the basket and that led me to open up my outside game."
Eden scored six points in the first quarter and erupted for 11 more in the second, including his team's last nine points before halftime.
The Bulldogs used their size to out-rebound Northwestern 22-6 in the first half. They made 13 of 25 shots and built a 29-10 lead at halftime, with Eden draining a three-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter.
"We just didn't man up and rebound," said Northwestern head coach Dan Eddinger. "We gave up so many opportunities early in the game. We let them set the tone on the boards. Instead of one and done we let them have four or five opportunities."
Matt Egan scored the first three points of the second half, putting Northern Lehigh ahead by 20 for the first time, 32-10 with 5:44 left in the third quarter.
Egan scored 11 points in the game, while the Bulldogs got only a few points, but a lot of production from their two returning big men.
Caleb Johnson, a 6-5 senior, scored nine points and pulled down seven rebounds. Lucas Pierce, a 6-7 senior and last year's TIMES NEWS Player of the Year, hauled in six rebounds while blocking three shots and dishing out four assists.
"We just wanted to pound the ball inside," said Miller. "We thought coming that our size could dictate the flow of the game. We have a tendency not to use our size to our advantage all of the time. We were trying to concentrate on doing that a little more."
Northwestern (6-13 overall, 3-10 Colonial League) just couldn't match up with Northern Lehigh's size. At one point in the fourth quarter, the three starting big men were on the floor along with sixth man Josh Landsberger, a 6-5 junior.
"We have two guys who can match up but not a third," said Eddinger. "Unfortunately the third scored 21 points against us."
The win keeps Northern Lehigh (12-6, 7-5) three games behind Salisbury and one game behind Catasauqua in the race for the final Colonial League wild card playoff berth.
"We're not out of it yet and we know that," said Miller. "But we need to win out."
"That's one of our goals, to make leagues," said Eden. "But if that doesn't happen it just adds fuel to the fire to make a deep run into the district tournament and hopefully get a title there."
Hoffer 0-0-0-0, Egan 4-3-5-11, Dibilio 1-2-4-4, Taylor 0-0-0-0, Eden 10-0-0-21, Hofmann 1-0-0-2, Landsberger 3-0-0-6, Johnson 4-1-2-9, Pierce 1-2-2-4. TOTALS: 24-8-13-57.
Wagner 1-3-6-6, Williamson 1-0-0-3, Schuler 0-0-0-0, T. Richardson 4-0-2-9, Betz 0-0-0-0, Breidinger 2-0-0-5, Perry 1-0-0-2, C. Richardson 0-2-2-2, Binder 1-3-4-5, Megnel 0-0-0-0, Jones 0-0-0-0, Schwartz 0-0-0-0, T. Breidinger 0-0-0-0, Shuey 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 10-8-14-32.
No. Lehigh 14 15 16 12 - 57
Northwestern 8 2 12 10 - 32
Three-pointers: NL - Eden 1; NW - Wagner 1, Williamson 1, T. Richardson 1, C. Breidinger 1.