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Northwestern girls extend winning streak to 15 games

What is possibly the most challenging week of the schedule started Tuesday night for the Northwestern Lehigh girls basketball team, and it came down to just one word: Defense.

The Lady Tiger defense, which has been one of the best in the Colonial League and continues to get better and better, held Notre Dame Green Pond (14-3, 11-2) without a single scorer in double figures and allowed the Crusaders to score 10 or more points in a quarter just once. The result was a 32-29 win for Northwestern, giving the Tigers 15 straight wins.

Senior Paige Sevrain led the Lady Tigers (16-1 overall, 11-1 Colonial) with 15 points in the game, which moves her to second place all-time among girls basketball players at Northwestern Lehigh. Sevrain moved past Dana Stellar, who finished her career wearing black and gold with 1,110. Sevrain now has 1,115 points. All-time leading scorer Sara Jones top the list with 1,246 points.

In the win over Notre Dame, senior Nina Miller hit two three-pointers to finish second on the team with six points, just ahead of Hannah Gober’s five points.

Going into the weekend, Northwestern Lehigh downed Moravian Academy (6-10, 5-9). In the win, the Lady Tigers turned a dominant start into a 51-26 victory. The Northwestern Lehigh defense picked up steals the first three times that Moravian Academy players got their hands on the ball. In all, Northwestern had four steals in the first four minutes of the game and six steals on the night, resulting in 11 points. The thefts helped the Lady Tigers jump out to a 14-0 lead and coast to a 51-26 win over the Lady Lions.

“Our defense comes out with a lot of intensity and that carries over to our offense,” said senior Maci Fisher, who finished with seven points in the game. “We like to be able to stop the other team from scoring and get more shots for ourselves and that contributes to the momentum.”

Brook Balliet hit an early three-pointer to open the game but lost her touch for a brief while before picking things up again early in the third quarter.

The sophomore hit two more threes and went on to finish with 11 points in the game. Sevrain was again the team’s leading scorer, often fighting off three defenders, finishing with 16, while Cara Thomas scored 13 points.

“Our coaches always stress defense, and we have a lot of really good defensive players, but we also have players who can help on offense, so if one person’s shot isn’t falling, we have someone else to pick things up,” said Fisher.

Northwestern has clinched spots in both the Colonial League playoffs and the District 11 playoffs.

The Lady Tigers could still take the top spot for the league playoffs.

The number-one seed is currently held by Palmerton (15-2, 13-0), but the two teams meet Thursday night and a win by Northwestern could make things interesting. Bangor (15-2, 12-1) and Notre Dame Green Pond are also in the hunt for the top spot.

Northwestern has five games remaining, with just one being at home.

Southern Lehigh (5-13, 5-8) comes to town Saturday. The other four games are at Palmerton, Salisbury (2-15, 2-12), Northern Lehigh (12-5, 8-5) and Catasauqua (6-11, 3-10).

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Paige Sevrain made up nearly half of the Tigers' offensive output as she scored 15 points in Tuesday's 32-29 win over Notre Dame.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Cara Thomas drives to the basket during the Tigers' recent win over Moravian Academy.