Northwestern Press

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Girls eclipse 50 in first three games

Thursday, December 13, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Scoring 50 points in back-to-back games is nice, but it’s nothing new for the Northwestern girls basketball team.

The Tigers had a seven-game win streak last season where they scored at least 50 in every game.

They also went 7-2 in their last nine games last season and scored at least 50 points in each of those. It is impressive to start this season with back-to-back 50 point games though since they lost four of their top five scorers from last season to graduation.

On Saturday, the Lady Tigers reached the 50-point milestone against Emmaus when they downed the Hornets 50-34 to win their second straight nonconference game. The win followed a 51-42 battle against Whitehall on Friday night in the season opener.

A key asset for Northwestern has been its size in the paint, which helped the Tigers in their win over Emmaus. The two quick wins also give Northwestern confidence as they head into Colonial League play.

“I think it definitely boosts our confidence a lot, with nonleague games and going in and beating both of the teams that we played,” said senior Sage Christopher, who scored 10 points in the win over the Hornets. “It gives us a better idea of how we’re going to play against teams in our league and I think it’s going to help a lot of the girls.

“We’re not overconfident, but I think we’re going to go into those games stronger.”

Emily Sekerak commanded the inside, pulling down one rebound after another and often pulling down an offensive rebound only to put it right back up for points. Sekerak finished with 11 points and Sydney Sevrain led all scorers with 15 points in the game and proved herself to be an outside threat, knocking down three, three-pointers. Christopher, Sekerak and Sevrain rested most of the second half as Northwestern had taken a 32-10 halftime advantage.

Coach Chris Deutsch had high words of praise for all three of his key players, but noted that the effort went much deeper than just a couple of players.

“Getting contributions from other starters who don’t always get the recognition, Ali Lister and Mackenzie Hess both played a good role and they know what their job is with this team,” said Deutsch. “Then, you have these girls, sophomores and freshmen for the most part, coming off of the bench and they do a solid job. Those girls are getting experience right now and it’s going to help them down the road.”

Deutsch had some questions about how good his offense would be this season and wondered too, about how his team would respond to playing two games in less than 24 hours against tough East Penn Conference teams. He came away with positive answers to both questions and believes that the work his players put into preparing for the season paid off well.

“I don’t say this lightly and I’m not blowing smoke,” stressed Deutsch. “This is my 17th or 18th year here and we’ve had some of the best practices that we’ve ever had and that’s a real credit to these young ladies. It’s from girl number one to girl number 18 and their work is great, they communicate and they get along and you can just see it when they’re on the floor. I’m really proud of them to win against two EPC schools is an accomplishment.”

Northwestern Lehigh faces their first big test of the season when they host perennial powerhouse Southern Lehigh Friday night.

Southern Lehigh has won the last four Colonial League titles and has enough talent returning to stake a claim to a fifth straight.

The Tigers opened league play Tuesday with a win over Saucon Valley and once again scored over 50 points in a 62-27 drubbing of the Panthers.

Northwestern took an 18-4 lead after the first quarter and was ahead 39-10 at halftime. Sekerak and Christopher led the scoring with 17 points each, all in the first three quarters. Ten different Northwestern players recorded at least one point in the win.