Girls win six straight
After opening the season with three straight road wins, the Lady Tiger basketball team played its home opener against Palmerton and kept the win streak going. Since then, the Tigers have added two more wins to open the season 4-0 in the Colonial League and 6-0 overall.
The home opener was also senior night and the Northwestern Lehigh seniors put themselves on display and made the most of the night. The five active seniors combined for 44 points and helped to slow down the Palmerton offense in a 63-36.
Ali Lister led all scorers with 18 points and seniors Kailyn Jones (12 points), Tess Ledeboer (10), Cailyn Miller (2) and Adana Funk (2) all put themselves into the scoring column. A sixth senior, Kate Betz was unable to be at the game.
“I was really proud of our seniors tonight,” said coach Chris Deutsch. “The five seniors got us off to a good start and then other players came off the bench and contributed, which is what we’re looking for. We can’t just rely on Ali and Paige (Sevrain), we need contributions from other players and that’s what we got tonight.”
Northwestern opened an eight-point advantage when Jones hit a three-pointer midway through the first quarter. Palmerton (1-1 Colonial League, 1-1 overall) was not going to go quietly and put together a 9-0 run to take a 12-11 lead with 1:00 left in the first quarter. Paige Sevrain, hit two free throws to put the Lady Tigers back up by one at 13-12 after the first quarter. Sevrain, a sophomore who stepped aside to allow all five seniors to start, finished with 15 points in the game.
Lister dominated the second quarter, scoring 12 of her 18 points, with Jones chipping in another five. Raegan Nemeth hit a three-pointer for Palmerton early in the quarter to tie the game at 15, but from there the Tigers defense frustrated Palmerton shooters and by halftime, Northwestern led 35-21.
“We really rely on Ali a lot,” said Deutsch. “She’s the anchor on defense because she’s up top on that press and she does an outstanding job because she’s so athletic. She’s a pain in the butt for the other team because with her athleticism she can cause a lot of problems. She and Jonesy can really make things tough on the other team’s offense.”
In the second half, Palmerton didn’t get on the board until the final minute of the third quarter and trailed 46-26 going into the fourth. Sevrain scored nine points in the final stanza as Northwestern rolled to the win. The Lady Tigers beat Executive Education Academy, Pottsville, and Pen Argyl on the road before finally getting to defend their home court. After the recent three-week shutdown, Northwestern has gotten better each time out.