Tamaqua rolls past Lehighton
Jamie Zuber (5) of Tamaqua defends as Lehighton’s Hailey Miller looks for a teammate to move the ball up the court. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
The Lehighton girls’ basketball team knew it was in for a tough night Friday.
But the Indians aren’t the only team who feel that way when trying to tackle a Tamaqua club that looks positioned for a championship drive come late winter and early spring.
The Indians tried to do just about every and anything to slow the pace Tamaqua loves to dictate, but to no avail. There were a few moments – maybe a minute – when Lehighton’s wrench caused a few gears to grind for the home club.
However, once Tamaqua got its weary legs working, it blazed by the Tribe en route to a 60-36 win.
Led by their dynamic scoring duo Emily Titus and Emma Kuczynski – who each scored 19 points – and some unsung play from Jamie Zuber, Sophia Boyle and Jen Fredrickson, the Raiders rang up an impressive 20-6 lead after a quarter of play.
There were a few moments in which Tamaqua looked sluggish early on, to which its coach Erika Davis attributed to a Thursday night non-league win at Mahanoy Area.
“It was an emotional victory, having never beaten Mahanoy Area,” said Davis. “But we settled down and we got our legs under us and played much better.”
The 14-point separation built in the opening period was daunting for Lehighton and its coach Joe Berezwick, who was pushing his team to the limit to try and hang with the Raiders (10-2, 3-2 SL) in the Division I contest.
“We had to do everything to try and stop them, they’re just so talented and well balanced,” said Berezwick who once led the program. “The score doesn’t say (so) but we kept battling and we cut into (the lead)…”
After being tied at 4-4, the Raiders put their dancing shoes on and went on a 16-2 run, featuring six points from Kuczynski, four by Titus and a crippler from Boyle tossing in a corner triple to fuel the rally.
“We’re not in a position to match up with them,” admitted Berezwick. “We figured to go out and sell out, and hope to make something happen.”
The Raiders raced up and down the floor, shooting 8-for-13 to set the tone, then hit a brick wall in the second quarter with only three baskets. But the defense strong, was forcing the Indians (5-9, 0-5) into six turnovers, and never allowing them to take advantage of the lull.
“We put a couple of good possessions together (in the first) quarter and that enabled us to get going,” Davis said. “(What we did) was sent cutters through their (3-2) defense and that kind of got us going. Once we got going, everyone fed off each other.”
The Raiders surged at the outset of the third quarter, using a Zuber trey, a put back from Titus and two free throws by Kuczynski for a 33-14 spread. But the Indians around Ashley Marchessault (10 points), Haley Miller (eight), Alexis Solomon (eight) and Emma Schappell (six) to spin off eight unanswered points, making it 35-24.
But Titus swished in a triple, and Kuczynski sank two free throws to push the lead to 40-26.
GLASS CLEANER…Kuczynski had a double-double, with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
SOLID EFFORT… In addition to her six points, Schappell also had six rebounds.
RAIDERS GET JV WIN … Tamaqua won the JV game, 56-27. Serena Jones had 19 points and had 18 rebounds, while Trenyce Wingler scored 14 points and Emma Hope pulled down 12 rebounds.
Kane 0-0-0-0, Zuber 2-2-2-8, Hromyak 2-0-0-5, Jones 0-0-0-0, Boyle 1-0-0-3, Titus 8-2-3-19, Wingler 0-0-0-0, Hope 0-0-0-0, Frederickson 2-0-0-4, Kuczynski 8-3-4-19, Reinhardt 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 24-7-9-60.
Klotz 1-0-0-2, Marchessault 5-0-2-10, Miller 4-0-0-8, Bowman 0-0-0-0, Fisher 1-0-0-2, Gaston 0-0-0-0, Solomon 4-0-0-8, Schappell 3-0-0-6. TOTALS: 18-0-2-36.
Lehighton 6 6 14 10 - 36
Tamaqua 20 6 14 20 - 60
Three-pointers: Tamaqua - Zuber 2, Hromyak 1, Boyle 1, Titus 1. Lehighton - None.