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NWL girls top Zephs in opener

After two games, Chris Deutsch has yet to be able to run his normal starting lineup onto the court. In the season opener, Brook Balliet and Paige Bissell were not available and then the flu bug hit the locker room causing Maci Fisher and Cara Thomas to miss game two. Even with players being out, the Lady Tigers played well and opened the season 1-1.

In the season opener, Northwestern Lehigh faced EPC foe Whitehall. Northwestern beat the Lady Zephyrs to open last season, and the Tigers did the same this year with a 55-35 romp. The game was close early on and was tied 21-21 at the half and midway into the third quarter until Northwestern went on a 13-0 run to pull away for the 20-point win.

Sophomore Cara Thomas led all scorers with 13 points, while Paige Sevrain and Hannah Gober both dropped in 11 for the Lady Tigers. The game was the varsity debut for Gober, who was part of the soccer team that went to states during the fall season.

Northwestern opened the Colonial League portion of their schedule with a home loss to Palmerton Tuesday night, falling 33-30. Even without two starters, the Tigers were able to go up by six points at two different points in the game, but saw the Blue Bombers score seven unanswered points in the third quarter to take their first lead of the game with 3:10 left in the quarter.

From there, the two teams battled back-and-forth, and the teams exchanged late three-pointers from Brook Balliet and Bethie Morgan late in the quarter to have Palmerton up 23-22 going into the final eight minutes.

Palmerton’s Megan Matsko scored five points in the final minute of regulation to put the game away.

“We tell the girls, ‘No excuses,’” said Deutsch. “We always play with who we have, and you have to credit Palmerton because they did more tonight than we did.”

Last season, Palmerton swept the two regular season games from Northwestern before the Lady Tigers got revenge in the Colonial League finals to win the league championship.

Against Palmerton, Sevrain racked up another 11 points to put her at 914 for her career as she moves closer to the magic 1,000-point milestone. She also pulled down 15 rebounds after collecting 12 in the win over Whitehall.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Cara Thomas scored a game-high 13 points in the Tigers' season-opening win over Whitehall.