Boys fall to hot-shooting Slaters, 80-50
It was no surprise to Northwestern boys basketball head coach Billy Hallman. Tuesday’s meeting with Bangor, the lone remaining unbeaten Colonial League team, was going be the Tigers’ toughest test to date.
Then the Slaters proved why they are so dangerous on the court.
Bangor built up an early lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Slaters (15-1 overall; 12-0 in Colonial League) grew their lead to double digits in the second quarter, pushed it to over 20 in the fourth, and downed Northwestern on Tuesday night, 80-50.
“I’m happy that the guys competed,” Hallman said. “They are a really good basketball team. They can beat you in a bunch of ways. When they put [Bernard] Davis in, we were so concerned with him that we didn’t get out on the shooters. And Meyers got hot.”
The Tigers (9-7, 6-5) were already faced with the tough task of replacing Luke Hallman, one of their biggest bodies in the post. That would have at least helped in slowing down Davis and his strength in the paint.
Instead, Davis scored 10 points, all coming in the paint with relatively easy looks. And when the Tigers gave him some extra attention on defense, Bo Meyers and Ben Holland made Northwestern pay from 3-point range.
“It hurts us rebounding,” Billy Hallman said of Luke’s absence. “Not that he could shut down Davis, but his bigger body would have helped on him.
“Our game plan was to get out on Meyers and Holland. The game plan was to get them off the 3-point line, but they ran some good sets, executed and got the looks.”
Leading 37-28 at halftime, Bangor separated itself even more in the third and then put the game away early in the fourth. And it was behind those two lethal 3-point shooters.
Meyers, who hit three 3-pointers alone in the third quarter, led everyone with five makes from beyond the arc. His trey at the end of the third gave the host Slaters a 59-42 advantage. He finished with 17 points.
Holland hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter as well and three for the game.
“I thought our man-to-man zone was OK,” Hallman said. “They run [Meyers] off some screens and make the extra pass. I don’t think he missed in the third quarter.”
Tony and Isaiah Jones provided another aspect for Hallman to deal with that made it nearly impossible to stop the Slaters’ offense. Tony Jones scored a game-high 21 points, including nine early in the opening quarter. His brother Isaiah pitched in with seven.
“I think it’s just overall that they can score in so many different ways,” Hallman said. “You worry about their shooters, and then the Jones brothers and Davis get inside. They can take you down low, and then you pack your defense in a little and they take it from outside. It is so many options.”
Sam Seyfried led the Tigers with 13 points. Sam Yadush finished with three 3-pointers and nine points.
With six Colonial League games remaining, Northwestern is in fourth place in the West Division, but it’s only a game out of second place and just two games back of division-leading Catasauqua (9-4).
The Tigers will host Northern Lehigh on Thursday and Palmerton Friday. Next week they host Moravian Academy (Monday) and then travel to Pen Argyl (Wednesday, Jan. 31) and Salisbury (Friday, Feb. 2). Northwestern’s caps the regular season at Catty on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Two more wins will seal a district playoff berth for the Tigers, but they will likely need at least four more wins to earn a league playoff berth, which goes to both division winners and four wild card teams.