Bombers wrap up successful summer hoop season
ALLENTOWN - Nobody ever wants to finish in second place for anything in this competitive world, especially in sports. But in the setting that is high school summer league basketball, a runner-up finish is not something to drop one’s head about.
The Palmerton boys basketball team had a successful 2019 summer on the outdoor courts, one that ended on the last day of games played. The Blue Bombers lost in the Lehigh Valley Summer League championship game to Southern Lehigh 48-38 Friday evening at Cedar Beach Park in Allentown.
It was the second defeat in a final in almost as many months, as Palmerton also was on the wrong end of the Cedar Beach ‘Bash at the Beach’ tournament in late June, falling to another Colonial League foe in Salisbury.
“It’s been a great summer,” said head coach Ken Termini. “Winning is fun, yes, but wins and losses aren’t the most important thing in the summer. We want to grow as a team and work hard to become better all-around players.”
Notably, Palmerton also reached postseason play in the other major summer tournament, the A-town Throwdown two weekends ago.
The Blue Bombers looked like they would break through as they jumped ahead in the game early and led the Spartans by eight points at halftime, 22-14. But Southern Lehigh found a spark and rallied for the win.
Kody Kratzer — who has had an impressive summer and has been one of Palmerton’s top scorers — once again showcased his talents, leading the team and all scorers with a game-high 17 points. Owen Buck tallied 10 points for the Blue Bombers, who wrapped up a long summer with some momentum to carry into the winter season.
“We played 36 games this summer and won 27 of them,” Termini said. “We had a good summer. Some of our goals this summer were to be consistent, get seven rising juniors or seniors playing time and experience on the court, and we accomplished those. I have to consider it a good summer, although it was a tough way to end it here.”
Daryl Coleman paced Southern Lehigh with 14 points, 12 of which came in the second half as the Spartans erased their eight-point halftime deficit and went up by as many as nine points in the second half, before free-throws at the end made it a double-digit victory.
“Southern Lehigh is a great team that does a lot of things well,” said Termini. “When we got a little behind, we might have shot too many threes. We need to continue to box out better, especially in big moments. Tonight was just there night and the ball didn’t fall for us. That’s just how it goes.”
Spartans head coach Ben Tannous had nice things to say about Palmerton, and knows they will be a challenge in the league and district this season.
“Palmerton plays us tough, and they’re going to be tough this winter,” said Tannous.