Northwestern Press

Thursday, February 21, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZNorthwestern’s Sage Christopher goes up for a shot against Wilson. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZNorthwestern’s Sage Christopher goes up for a shot against Wilson.

Girls beat Bulldogs

Thursday, January 31, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Northwestern coach Chris Deutsch had to make a tactical decision against Northern Lehigh on Friday night. Either let the Bulldogs’ Jada Saeger, who averages 24 points per game, just have her night and choose to shut down the rest of the Northern Lehigh roster, or find a way to stop Saeger.

He made the right choice in just doing what they could against Saeger and shutting down the rest of the offense.

While Saeger torched Northwestern for 32 points, the rest of the Bulldogs (7-2 overall, 5-9 Colonial League) managed just six points and the Tigers took an easy 63-38 win over their rivals.

“I was fine with her scoring, because nobody else was scoring,” said Deutsch. “She’s tough. She’s a first-team Colonial League player, there’s no doubt about it. She’s a tough player. I don’t care who you put on her, Jada’s going to get her points.”

Even with Saeger having a big night, the Northwestern Lehigh defense – especially Kailyn Jones – made her work for her points. Jones got the majority of minutes against Saeger, but had lots of help as Deutsch wanted to at least make Saeger break a sweat to get points.

“Kailyn Jones is like an Energizer Bunny,” said Deutsch. “She just keeps going and going. With her conditioning and being a cross country runner, she’s in remarkable shape.

“We threw four or five different girls on Jada tonight and we were trying to wear her down a little bit and it didn’t work points-wise, but we kept everybody else from doing anything.”

Northwestern’s game plan worked perfectly offensively as well, as the Tigers pounded the ball inside to use their height advantage and coasted to a 26-6 lead after the first quarter.

Sage Christopher scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the first quarter and Emily Sekerak added six first-quarter points. Sekerak finished the night with 14 points.

Alex Lister and Sydney Sevrain were also in double-digits in scoring with 10 points each.

The win came on the heels of a 60-53 win over Wilson (11-8, 9-6) a night earlier, breaking a two-game skid for the Lady Tigers. Wilson’s Ashley Errico scored a game-high 19 points for the Warriors, with Almond Goodman picking up 15. For Northwestern (16-3, 11-3), Christopher and Sevrain led their team with 16 each and Sekerak finished with 15 points.

“I was proud of the way that we came back,” said Deutsch. “We had a tough game last night against Wilson and I didn’t know how we would bounce back tonight, but I thought we did a good job.”

The Tigers are still looking up at Southern Lehigh (15-3, 12-1) in the West Division standings, but have clinched a spot as a wild-card team in the Colonial League playoffs and could still possibly grab the division title if the Lady Spartans struggle down the stretch.

Northwestern has also clinched a spot in the District 11 playoffs and are currently seeded fourth in the 4A classification behind Jim Thorpe (16-0, 10-0 Schuylkill League) and Bethlehem Catholic (15-3, 12-0 EPC).

Northwestern has three games remaining, all on the road at Pen Argyl (8-10, 6-8), Salisbury (3-16, 3-11) and Catasauqua (2-16, 0-14).