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Tigers claw back to even with three victories

The best way to erase a three-game losing streak to start the season is to put together a three-game winning streak and get back to even.

The Northwestern boys basketball team did just that and then split its next two games to put themselves at .500 heading into the holiday break.

Sophomore Gavin Nelson has put together a string of five straight games with double digit scoring, including a season-high 22 against Pottsville in a 55-48 loss to the Crimson Tide (5-2 overall, 3-0 Schuylkill League). The performance came on the heels of an 18-point game against Northern Lehigh and was followed up with another 12 points in a win over Catasauqua. This season, Nelson is averaging over 13 points per game this season, tops on the team.

In the 56-18 win over the Bulldogs (0-7, 0-4) sophomore Del Tyler scored 11. The rest of the scoring was spread out across the roster as coach Cory Cesare was able to get playing time for role players and a little rest for his regulars.

A 43-31 win over Catty (1-6, 1-3) wrapped up the 2022 portion of the Tigers schedule and saw senior Cayden Fitch lead the way with 14 points.

An improved defense and finding their way to playing an up-tempo style of offense have been the keys for the Tigers (4-4 overall, 3-2 Colonial League) in turning around their season. In their four losses, the Tigers have allowed opponents 53 points per game, while in victories they are holding opponents to just 28 points per game.

Offensively, Cesare has stressed a fast-paced offense to offset the lack of height needed to battle down low. Early in the year, the tempo added to turnovers that were turned into points against them. As the team has developed though, the offense has come together, and the Tigers are averaging 44 points per game.

The Tigers are back on the court Jan. 3 at Kutztown in a nonleague game before hosting Saucon Valley two nights later.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Northwestern's Cayden Fitch lays up a shot as Lehighton's Blake Roberts tries to get a hand on the ball.