Tigers fall in CL semi
A furious comeback highlighted by a parade of three-pointers nearly brought Northwestern Lehigh back from a 13-point deficit, but ultimately it was Moravian Academy that held on for a 49-45 win over the Lady Tigers in the Colonial League semifinal game played at Catasauqua High School last week.
Things went badly for the Lady Tigers early on as senior Sydney Sevrain fell to the court along with a player from Moravian Academy. As trainers ran out, Sevrain clutched her left leg before being helped up and off the court. Later, she was on crutches and there was no immediate idea of the severity of the injury, which turned out to be an ankle injury.
“It’s sad to see any player go down like that, especially a senior, who plays her heart out,” said coach Chris Deutsch. “At that point, we just had to go to our next girl up philosophy and keep playing hard.”
For much of the game, the two teams took turns holding small leads, with Northwestern Lehigh moving out to its biggest lead at 7-2 with just 37 seconds left in the first quarter. The Lions moved to within three by the end of the quarter and then grabbed the lead back early in the second quarter.
Moravian Academy senior Quinn O’Connor hit a three-pointer with 5:28 left in the first half and Grace Moyer followed that up with a basket of her own to make it 13-9 and the two teams traded baskets to leave Moravian Academy up 15-11 at halftime.
“I thought that was good, that we were in good shape at that point,” said Deutsch. “We had kind of gotten past the shock of losing Syd and we were only down four, so we thought we could work with that.”
Throughout the game, Northwestern was turned away when they tried to work the ball down low, with Marina Falzone, a 5-10 sophomore, continually swatting away shot after shot. Ali Lister hit a three-pointer for Northwestern and before Moravian Academy could even look to move the ball back up the court, the Lions turned the ball over and Kailyn Jones hit from short range to pull the Tigers within one with 5:16 left in the third quarter.
From there, Moravian Academy got hot and went on a 7-0 run to move out to a 28-20 lead.
Up by seven, Moravian Academy got a basket from Quinn, stole the inbound pass and got a short jumper from Moser to take a 33-22 lead as the third quarter came to an end.
Lions senior Maya Ettle was scoreless through the first three quarters, but she went to work offensively and picked up six points in a two-minute span halfway through the final quarter as Moravian Academy took their largest lead at 43-30 with 3:49 to play. Seemingly out of nowhere, Northwestern Lehigh started hitting from long distance and hit four three-pointers in 1:43 to make it a 47-45 game with five-seconds left on the clock.
Moravian Academy’s O’Connor went to the line and hit two free-throws with two-seconds left on the clock to put the game away. The freebies put her at 15 points in the game, leaving her two points shy of the 1,000-point milestone.
Lister led all scorers with 18 points, Jones and Paige Sevrain were also in double-digits with 13 and 11 points respectively for Northwestern Lehigh.
“It’s disappointing, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m proud of how our girls fought back. They could have quit, but they played as hard as ever and I’m proud of that,” said Deutsch. “I told them that there are going to be disappointments in life, but it’s all about how you bounce back from them and that’s what we have to do now for districts.”
Northwestern Lehigh will play Allentown Central Catholic in the quarterfinal round of the District 11 tournament on Saturday.