Tigers cruise past Palmerton
Northwestern’s Sage Christopher (50) knocks the ball away from Molly Mihalko of Palmerton. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
A quick start, and a defense that forced turnovers, was all that the Northwestern Lehigh girls needed to pull away from Palmerton for a 67-42 Colonial League victory Monday night.
The Tigers’ Sydney Sevrain led all scorers with 17 points, followed closely by Emily Sekerak’s 15 and Sage Christopher’s 13.
Northwestern (14-1 overall, 9-1 Colonial) grabbed an early 18-8 lead.
Palmerton (6-9, 5-5) tried to hang close behind Casi Papay, who scored six first-quarter points and put up 11 in the first half. But Northwestern was able to shut out Papay the rest of the way, and with leading scorer Brianna Moore out of the lineup with an injury, the Bombers didn’t have any offensive punch left.
Northwestern forced turnovers all through the night and dominated on the boards, with Christopher pulling down six rebounds and Alexandra Lister and Sekerak each grabbing five.
The Tigers stretched their lead to 35-20 at the break, beforen outscoring Palmerton 21-6 in the third quarter to put the game away. Lister drove the lane with 2:21 left in the third quarter to give Northwestern their biggest lead of the night at 55-25.
Sevrain hit three more three-pointers to give her 20 on the season. Her two-for-two performance from the line increased her free throw shooting to 85 percent. But the junior is more excited about what the team is doing than what she’s doing individually.
“I’m happy, but it’s about the team. We’re playing well and that’s the biggest thing for me,” said Sevrain. “We have some good players on the team and it’s not about any one of us, we all contribute where we can and that’s been the key.”
The fourth quarter opened with Deutsch turning the game over to his bench, giving some minutes to players who don’t always get them and resting his starters. The role players were a big hit with the starters, who gave the loudest cheers of the night when their understudies hit a basket.
“This is a very close team, they all get along well away from the court, and you could see from the reaction that our younger players got. They all pull for each other,” said Deutsch. “I’ve been happy with how our deep we can go on our bench and not see a drop off in play. We can easily go eight deep and still have enough offense and keep our defense strong. That’s important because you never know what can happen and we may need that.”
Deutsch noted that with a key game against Notre Dame (11-1, 10-0) Wednesday night, his team could have been caught looking ahead.
Sevrain stressed though that the team focuses on just the task at hand, following their team motto.
“Our sleeves say ‘day by day’ and that’s how we face things,” she said. “We had to get through tonight to make the next game as important as it is and that’s just how we think.”
REJECTED! ... Palmerton struggled to get any shots in close, thanks especially to Sekerak and Christopher. Both players picked up three blocked shots to force the Blue Bombers to stay further outside for the majority of their shots.
DIALING LONG DISTANCE ... The Bombers’ Reagan Nemeth was held scoreless through the first three quarters, but got herself dialed in from beyond the arc in the final quarter, nailing three three-pointers. Papay’s 11 led Palmerton with Nemeth and Baylee Guedes each picking up nine.
H. Guedes 0-1-2-1, Papay 4-0-0-11, B. Guedes 2-4-9-9, Cincilla 3-0-0-6, Recker 0-0-0-0, Mihalko 1-0-0-2, Beahm 1-2-2-4, Nemeth 3-0-0-9, Nothstein 0-0-0-0, TOTALS: 13-7-13-42
Bleam 1-0-0-2, Betz 0-0-0-0, Mack 0-0-0-0, Motolese 1-0-0-2, Lister 3-0-0-6, Jones 2-0-0-5, Ledeboer 2-0-0-4, Sevrain 6-2-2-17, Hess 1-1-2-3, Sekerak 6-3-3-15, Christopher 5-3-5-13, Dorney 0-0-0-0, Giese 0-0-0-0, TOTALS: 27-9-12-67
Palmerton 8 12 6 16 - 42
Northwestern 18 17 21 11 - 67
Three-pointers: P - Papay 3, Nemeth 3; N - Sevrain 3, Jones 1.