Northwestern Press

Saturday, January 19, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZAbby Chisdak is one of four senior starters that will graduate from this year’s Northwestern girls basketball team. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZAbby Chisdak is one of four senior starters that will graduate from this year’s Northwestern girls basketball team.

Senior class led girls team

Saturday, March 17, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The season didn’t finish the way that the Northwestern girls had hoped that it might. While an 18-6 season, including a 16-2 finish in the Colonial League is impressive, this team had hoped for more. After breezing through much of the regular season, the Lady Tigers found just one obstacle in their way; Southern Lehigh.

The Spartans (24-2) simply weren’t going to be beaten, which is one reason why they’re still playing basketball in states. Southern Lehigh took gold in District 11 and easily won their first-round matchup in the PIAA tournament.

Not many people would have been surprised if the Tigers were in the spot now occupied by Southern Lehigh. With a strong group of seniors on the roster at the start of the season, it seemed like this might be Northwestern’s year, but they ran into hot teams in both the Colonial League playoffs and in districts.

In the league tournament, Wilson got hot at just the right time and surprised both Northwestern and Notre Dame (Green Pond), dumping Northwestern out of the league bracket in the first round with a 70-67 win. Wilson went on to play for the league title but lost to Southern Lehigh 61-33.

The same thing happened in districts when the Lady Tigers encountered Tamaqua and were eliminated in the first round. The win over Northwestern was the only one that Tamaqua would get in districts as they lost to Central Catholic in the semifinals.

Senior Leighanna Lister led the team in scoring, averaging 11.5 points per game on the season and another senior. Jess Williamson was right behind her with an average of 8.5 points per game. Williamson was also known for her tough defensive play, prompting coach Chris Deutsch to call her “the best defensive player in the Lehigh Valley.”

Next year is going to be interesting as Northwestern will be without four of their top five scorers from this year’s team, who all graduate. In addition to Lister and Williamson, Gabby Sevrain and Abby Chisdak also graduate.

The only remaining player among the team’s top five scorers who will be back is Sydney Sevrain, who will be heading into her junior season. Sevrain finished third in scoring with 8.2 points per game, while Gabby Sevrain was next at 7.83, followed by Chisdak’s 6.04 points per game.

Maya Hambrick and Sarah Sekerak are also graduating.

Sydney Sevrain, who far and away led the team in three-pointers with 32, will be the main player offensively for Northwestern next season as the Lady Tigers will look for others to step into leadership roles. This season’s team had just two juniors in Sage Christopher (4.9 ppg) and Ashley Sisco (1.7 ppg), meaning that next year’s team will be much younger than this year’s edition was.

One thing they will have to equal is the work that this year’s team put into their season. The group of seniors was highly motivated and Deutsch was never short on praise for not only the senior group of girls, but for the entire roster.