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Northwestern remains in first place

Following his first season as head coach of the Northwestern Lehigh High School boys basketball team, Cory Cesare is now in his first offseason at the helm and it could not have gone any better thus far.

Summers are meant to transition newer players into the system and wins and losses aren’t as much of a focus. But the Tigers played most of the Lehigh Valley summer league unblemished winning their first 11 games before a loss to Roberto Clemente last week.

“I would say it’s been a success,” said Cesare on the offseason. “We’ve been able to build on some things we started to do at the end of last season and make them crisper throughout the summer. We’ve been able to get a lot of guys involved, from incoming eighth graders to seniors, so that has also been great for the program. And we’ve won some games, which is always positive for the program as well.

“I’ve seen buy in and commitment to what we’re doing. We’ve gotten some more consistent attendance throughout the summer, which we really enjoy as coaches. Even as far as guys who aren’t playing in the summer league game asking to come watch and sit on the bench just to be involved. So, we love that.”

There have been a couple of guys that have stepped up and played well this summer.

“Cayden Fitch has really stepped up as a leader this summer,” said Cesare. “He was really helpful with running our youth camp, and he has done a great job on the floor working with a lot of younger players. Gavin Nelson has also really stepped up as a scorer and has improved as a defender. We love what we some from Gavin. But I could speak about a lot of guys positively. We’ve seen great improvement this summer from a lot of our guys.

“This group is exciting because we are young and hungry. We have guys coming up that we expect to see great things out of, so that is exciting. We have also really displayed team toughness. Things like getting over screens, getting on the floor, competing on the defensive end, our guys have taken pride in those things this summer and it has helped us win.”

Cesare and the Tigers are hoping that this summer’s success translates into the winter season.

“We are just trying to build positive momentum going into the fall and then the winter,” said Cesare. “We had hoped to get these guys playing more basketball together as a unit this summer, and we’ve succeeded with that. We’ve gotten a lot of guys involved and seen a lot of improvement already. However, no one is ever a finished product and we still have a lot of work to do. The rest of the summer and the fall, that is our focus.”

This is the final week of the regular season before summer playoffs start next week.

LV Boys Varsity Summer

Basketball League

Scores from July 7


Saucon Valley 53 (Cydae Joseph-Davis 20), Bethlehem Christian 35

Lehighton 34 (Joe Roth 9), Salisbury 22

Roberto Clemente 50 (Darrell Monroe 23), Northwestern 33

Kutztown 39 (EJ Miranda 19), Catasauqua 36


Reading 49 (Yadiel Cruz 24), Southern Lehigh 36

Notre Dame Green Pond 44 (Zach Rodgers 16), Central Catholic 41

Muhlenberg 43 (Joshua Alcantara 10), Easton 37

Allen 42 (Robert Johnson 12), Whitehall 39

Freedom 51 (KJ Mangros 16), Liberty 50

Service Electric Big School Player of the Week: Yadiel Cruz (Reading)

St Luke”s Small School Player of the Week: Darrell Monroe (Roberto Clemente)



Team W-L

Northwestern 10 - 1

Saucon Valley 8 - 2

Roberto Clemente 7 - 4

Kutztown 6 - 4

Upper Perkiomen 6 - 4

Lehighton 5 - 6

Catasauqua 3 - 7

Bethlehem Christian 1 - 9

Salisbury 1 - 10


Team W-L

Muhlenberg 11 - 0

Parkland 10 - 0

Freedom 9 - 2

Central Catholic 7 - 3

Executive Education 7 - 3

Emmaus 6 - 3

Northampton 7 - 4

Notre Dame GP 7 - 4

Reading 7 - 4

Quakertown 5 - 5

Wilson West Lawn 5 - 5

Liberty 5 - 6

Pocono Mt. East 5 -6

Palmerton 4 - 5

Whitehall 5 - 7

Nazareth 4 - 7

Phillipsburg 3 - 5

Dieruff 3 - 8

Bangor 2 - 8

Allen 2 - 9

Southern Lehigh 1 - 10

Easton 0 - 11

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ The Tigers' Gavin Nelson battles through a double team during last Thursday's game against Roberto Clemente Charter School.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SSCHOLZ Northwestern's Ethan Kozlowski tries to get a shot off against Roberto Clemente last Thursday.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Northwestern's Eli Zimmerman glides toward the basket during last Thursday's game against Roberto Clemente.