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Thomas leads NW past Eagles

Northwestern Lehigh continued to flex their muscles with a 45-41 win over Blue Mountain recently. The win puts the Lady Tigers at 8-1 overall and they stand at 5-1 in the Colonial League.

The story of the night was senior Paige Sevrain draining a turnaround hook shot with 1:42 left in the second quarter to give her seven points on the night and 1,000 for her high school career. On the night, Sevrain scored 15 and now stands at 1,008, putting her in fifth place all-time among Lady Tigers players.

“It feels pretty special. I was glad to get to the mark tonight and just get back to playing,” admitted Sevrain after the game. “We are playing really well right now and this was a big win for us to get.”

While the game stopped for the celebration and for Sevrain to be given the ball used to reach the milestone, the Blue Mountain Eagles never stopped putting pressure on Northwestern Lehigh.

Blue Mountain (5-2 overall, 3-1 Schuylkill League) used pressure defense and forced several turnovers throughout the game. To their credit though, the Tigers were able to break the press on numerous occasions and find open players to hit shots.

Sevrain’s milestone shot put Northwestern up 21-17 late in the second quarter, but Blue Mountain scored seven unanswered points in the quarter and four more to open the third quarter to stretch out to a 28-21 lead with 6:33 left in the third quarter.

Northwestern cut the lead to 33-32 by the end of the third quarter. Brook Balliet tied the game with 6:00 left in regulation when she drained a shot to make it 34-34. The lead went back and forth before Sevrain put the Lady Tigers up for good when she hit from down low to make it 39-38 and kick start an 8-0 run for Northwestern with Cara Thomas and Nina Miller both hitting crucial foul shots down the stretch.

Thomas finished with a game-high 16 points, just four shy of her career-high.

“She (Thomas) was in a bit of a scoring funk lately and she called me on Sunday and asked if she could come in and get in some shooting and I guess it worked,” said coach Chris Deutsch. “She always works hard, and I was impressed that she wanted to give up time on a Sunday to get in extra work.”

Thomas not only contributed with her scoring but frustrated the Lady Eagles defensively. Unofficially, Thomas had seven rebounds in the game, three of which came on the offensive end of the court.

“I really pride myself in that even if my offense isn’t the best or my shots aren’t falling, I always try to make sure my defense is good and that I am always playing solid defense,” said the sophomore. “I think defense is the key to winning a game, so even when I’m not having my best days offensively, I’m having good games defensively.”

The schedule returns to a more normal routine after New Year’s with a road game at Saucon Valley (4-5, 3-4) and a home game against Pen Argyl (6-3, 3-3) in the first week of 2023.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Cara Thomas scored a team-high 16 points in Northwestern's win over Blue Mountain last week.