Girls top Hamburg
The Northwestern Lehigh Lady Tigers interrupted their Christmas break for a nonconference game against Hamburg Area High School and stretched their winning streak to eight games with a 59-23 win over the Hawks.
Paige Sevrain led all scorers with 17 points and led all rebounders with 10 rebounds, seven of which were offensive rebounds. Senior Sydney Sevrain finished with 16 points in the game.
Hamburg scored the first two points of the game, which would be the only time all night that they led against Northwestern. Kailyn Jones hit a three-pointer with 5:37 left in the first quarter to snap a 4-4 tie and the Lady Tigers never looked back from there. Jones had another first quarter three-pointer that stretched the lead to 12-4. By halftime, Northwestern had stretched the lead to 33-9 and would continue to increase their advantage from there.
The win puts Northwestern at 8-2 on the season with their Colonial League record at 5-0. Head coach Chris Deutsch is pleased with how well the team bounced back from two season opening losses and how it has continued to improve game after game.
“Our energy has picked up and we have to do that,” he said. “I think defensively we’ve gotten better and that was my concern out of the first couple games. We weren’t communicating on the court and we’ve gotten better at that and we have girls stepping up and understanding their roles.
Deutsch liked that different players come up as the lead scorer in games, noting that the team’s top four scorers are all averaging over eight points per game.
The team has also found key role players like senior Mackenzie Hess and junior Tess Ledeboer. Many of the things that players like Hess and Ledeboer do don’t show up in the stat columns, but they help the team put up points and keep their opponents from scoring. The defense has not only improved, but it has become stifling at times with players like Jones and Caitlyn Miller playing well defensively.
“You need girls who are willing to play defense and willing to do the little things to help the team,” said Deutsch. “Jones comes off the bench and can hit shots and play defense and players like her are important because we use a lot of pressure on defense and have to get some subs in because it takes a lot to play that way. Having those girls who can give us minutes here and there is very important for us.”
After the New Year, Northwestern returns to the court with a home game against Bangor (6-1 overall, 4-1 Colonial League) before playing three straight on the road at Salisbury (0-8, 0-2), Palisades (3-4, 1-3) and Catasauqua (2-6, 1-4). All 12 of the remaining games are against Colonial League opponents. Notre Dame – Green Pond is the only other undefeated team in the Colonial League, but the two teams don’t meet until mid-January.
While the team is playing well now, Deutsch believes that things could get even better as some of the younger players start to get more confidence in playing at the varsity level. One of the younger players, Gabrielle Giese came off the bench against Hamburg and finished with five points and solid defensive plays, including pulling down six rebounds.
The Tigers’ girls soccer, field hockey and girls cross country teams all competed deep into their fall seasons as all three teams were district champs and state qualifiers.
“Some of these girls are real warriors and they’re coming off of seasons with other teams where they had a lot of success and that always helps the program,” Deutsch said. “I think they can get even better if we clean up some of the little things and girls continue to adjust to playing in their roles, we can be better than we are now and that’s saying something.”