Bulldogs can’t hold big lead
Northern Lehigh’s Grant Olewine (10) goes up with a shot over Salisbury defender Danny Scialla. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
Northern Lehigh coach Jeff Miller is aware that success breeds success.
Within his basketball program, past teams have had their share of successes. However, with each new season, that new team’s identity must develop.
A large amount of offense graduated from last season’s Bulldog squad, and this year’s team (0-5), has several key components for what could be a strong team. But until they grab that initial win of the 2019-20 campaign, the components are just that.
Friday night, Salisbury handed Northern Lehigh another tough loss, 47-43.
“The kids need to learn how to win,” Miller said. “It’s a process. It’s no fault of theirs because they give me all their effort and we’re not a deep team. But we need to get a win to experience it.
“With the success we’ve had the past couple of years ... this group hasn’t felt it yet.”
The way the game started, the Bulldog faithful had to feel like that first win was going to happen. Some hot shooting propelled No. Lehigh to an early 18-1 advantage. Eventually, a 6-0 run by Salisbury made it 18-7 after one period.
A pair of threes by Carter Smith, and five points apiece from Zach Moyer and Grant Olewine provided the offense.
As quickly as Northern Lehigh built it’s lead, that’s how quickly Salisbury turned it around.
By halftime, tthe Falcons had pull ahead, 26-24.
Five different players scored at least three points in that crucial session to make it a game.
“We didn’t make shots early on and we were missing and airballing,” Salisbury coach Jason Weaver said. “Northern Lehigh was on fire early and knocking down shots and I told the guys in the locker room that in the past, maybe we would have folded at that point. So I give our guys a lot of credit for battling back and getting back into it.”
The Falcons (3-2 overall, 3-0 Colonial League) had solid efforts from numerous players, but Kenyo Herrera spearheaded the winners’ effort with his presence on the boards and all over the floor. The junior finished with nine points, but more importantly, added 13 rebounds in the contest to turn the tide.
In the third frame, there were four ties and four lead changes, before Quintin Stephens’ triple with 1:49 remaining put the Falcons ahead for good.
Down the stretch, Northern Lehigh challenged several times, but couldn’t regain the lead. Threes by Olewine at two different points throughout the last period made things interesting, but a crucial three-point play by Herrera and solid free throw shooting sealed the win.
Once they went man on us, we tried to slow the game down and we had some great possessions,” Weaver said. “Kenyo had that great three-point play and I thought that was huge. We executed and got the right guy to screen and it worked.”
Outside of Herrera’s nine points, Patrick Foley’s 12 led the winners.
For the Bulldogs, Olewine and Smith had 11 apiece, while Moyer and Ardit Mujovic both added nine.
ALL IN THE FAMILY ... The Bulldogs will play host to Lehighton at noon today, as another installment of the Miller vs. Miller and father vs. son rivalry takes place. Lehighton’s head coach is Northern Lehigh coach Jeff Miller’s son, Trevor.
JUNIORS ... Despite 21 points from Mike Repsher in the junior varsity game, Salisbury pulled out a 52-41 preliminary victory.
Parton 1-1-2-3, Foley 4-3-4-12, Weber 1-0-0-3, Stephens 2-4-6-9, Herrera 2-5-5-9, Scialla 2-0-0-4, Warmkessel 2-0-1-4, Panarello 1-0-0-3. TOTALS: 15-13-18-47.
Mujovic 3-3-4-9, Hammond 1-0-1-2, RIchards 0-1-2-1, Olewine 4-0-0-11, Moyer 3-2-2-9, Smith 4-1-3-11, Marlatt 0-0-2-0, Repsher 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 15-7-14-43.
Salisbury 7 19 11 10 - 47
Northern Lehigh 18 6 10 9 - 43
Three pointers: S - Panarello 1, Foley 1, Weber 1, Stephens 1; NL - Olewine 3, Smith 2, Moyer 1.