Northwestern Press

Thursday, January 18, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZLeighanna Lister scored 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in a recent win over Salisbury. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZLeighanna Lister scored 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in a recent win over Salisbury.

Four seniors have NW girls team rolling

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Northwestern knew it had an advantage inside with senior Leighanna Lister when it traveled to Salisbury over the weekend.

Then the Tigers executed that mismatch to perfection early and often.

Lister, the Georgian Court University commit, scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Northwestern raced out to a quick lead and dominated Salisbury (5-6 overall; 4-3 in Colonial League) 50-24. The Tigers (8-3, 6-1) have won four straight league games.

“We’re just taking it game by game, and just working hard every game to where we are going to be in the postseason,” Lister said.

“When we get balanced scoring and we’re moving the ball like we do, we have a nice team,” head coach Chris Deutsch said. “Right now, the thing is to take it one game at a time, and to be playing our best at the end of the year.”

Lister scored eight quick points in the first eight minutes, and Northwestern led 22-8 going into the second quarter. If that wasn’t enough of a lead, the Tigers held Salisbury scoreless in the second for a 30-8 halftime advantage.

Five different players scored in the third quarter as the Tigers grew their lead to 40-13. Salisbury struggled to find rhythm offensively without its leading scorer in Sarah McGee, who has been out with a wrist injury for the past few games.

“We always had good players at Northwestern,” Lister said. “But this senior group, we’ve been playing together for so long. I think we’re really building something strong.”

Led by Lister, this senior-laden starting lineup has taken the court together since their grade school years. Now, the combination of Lister, Abby Chisdak, Gabby Sevrain and Jess Williamson has joined forces again looking for a brighter end in sight.

The Tigers’ only Colonial League loss of the season came against Southern Lehigh, a 51-48 defeat back on December 20. But if you ask anyone around the Northwestern program, the game should have gone the other way with the Tigers leading for much of the 32 minutes.

In that contest, Northwestern became the first team league team in 33 games to lose by less than 10 points against Southern Lehigh.

“With us, we have to stay healthy and keep improving,” Deutsch said. “The problem is, you could be one of the better teams but when you get to the postseason it’s one and done. And if you have an off night, it can be all over.”

Four other Tigers scored at least five points in the win, including six from Sevrain.

Northwestern has four players that average at least eight points per game, led by Lister’s 11 per contest. Jess Williamson, Sydney Sevrain and Gabby Sevrain also hit that mark.

“I think we’re very unselfish,” Deutsch said. “The one thing I had keyed at the beginning of the year was if we get balanced scoring, I think we’ll be very tough.”

The upcoming week or so figures to be a stretch in which the Tigers can separate themselves as one of the top Colonial League squads. After games against Saucon Valley (on Tuesday) and Moravian Academy (on Thursday), Northwestern faces Southern Lehigh (Saturday) and Notre Dame (Green Pond) on Monday. The Spartans and Crusaders have a combined 12-1 record in the Colonial League.