Northwestern Press

Friday, February 23, 2018
Emily Sekerak drives around a Southern Lehigh defender during Saturday’s game.PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Emily Sekerak drives around a Southern Lehigh defender during Saturday’s game.PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Alexandra Lister takes the ball to the basket against Southern Lehigh. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Alexandra Lister takes the ball to the basket against Southern Lehigh.

Girls fall to Spartans

Friday, January 19, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Southern Lehigh’s girls basketball team has developed a reputation for running over opponents this season. In their 10 wins, the Spartans’ margin of victory is just over 28 points per game, and Northwestern is the only Colonial League team to lose to the Spartans by less than 10 points when they dropped a 51-48 game three weeks ago.

In two nonleague losses against Archbishop Carroll and Easton, Southern Lehigh has lost by a combined eight points, and the Spartans currently have a six-game winning streak.

Northwestern traveled to Southern Lehigh for the second of two regular season meetings with the Spartans last weekend and took an early gut-punch that the Tigers weren’t able to recover from in a 57-31 loss to Southern Lehigh.

Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch thought that the Lady Spartans would come out firing, but he also thought that his team would be able to fend them off.

“I thought they would come out and go for a knockout punch and they did,” said Deutsch. “They jumped us right from the start of the game. I can say ‘we didn’t do this, we didn’t do that,’ but credit them. They’re a very good team and they played better than we did today. We didn’t make shots. They made shots. We didn’t take care of the ball. They took care of the ball. It was more of what they did than what we didn’t do.”

Not only did Southern Lehigh play tough offensively, but its defense was able to hold Northwestern to just 10 first-half points as it built up a 33-10 lead at the half. The final 16-minutes went much better for Northwestern than the first 16 did, but the Tigers were unable to mount any real comeback.

Sydney Sevrain led Northwestern with seven points and Jessica Williamson had five. Southern Lehigh’s Olivia Snyder put on something of a clinic to lead all scorers with 23 points, including hitting two three-pointers and going seven of eight from the foul line. Avery Bennett finished with 14 for the Lady Spartans.

“I thought it was basically an even second half, so that was encouraging that for 16 minutes we basically,” said Deutsch. “Give or take a point here or there, we played them even. But when we play them, we have to play for a full 32 minutes and we didn’t do that. You can’t score 10 points in a half against them because they have such great firepower. Realistically, you have to figure that to beat them, you’re going to have to score in the 50s. They’re tough to guard because they’ve got [Amanda] Mobley (six points), they’ve got Snyder, Bennett can hit shots, and [Ellie] Cassel (four points) can shoot. They’ve got a lot of firepower and they’re tough.”

With the win, Southern Lehigh remains perfect in the Colonial League at 10-0 and holds a two-game lead in the division over the Tigers, who are 8-2. Overall, the Tigers are 10-4, while the Spartans are 11-2.

With how the Colonial League is shaping up, it’s very possible that the two teams could be seeing each other again in the Colonial League playoffs. Having played two very different games this season, there’s no telling how a third game would play out.

“We played very well against them on our court and they played very well today, so if you get them on a neutral court and see where the chips fall, it would be interesting,” said Deutsch. “We weren’t in the game today, but we can do things like we did in the first game to give ourselves an opportunity. We will do better next time we play them and credit to them for today, but I think we can play with this team and we’re not afraid to play them in the future.

“I’m encouraged with where we’re at and I think that we’ve put ourselves in a good position.”