With the potential of having their high school basketball careers come to an end, the Northwestern Lehigh seniors banded together to lead their team to a 68-55 win over Tamaqua in the District 11 quarterfinals, which guaranteed the Tigers a spot in the PIAA tournament and the chance to play at least three more high school games.
Northwestern Lehigh had open looks and put up good shots early in its semifinal matchup with Allentown Central Catholic Tuesday night, but the shots just weren’t falling. That led to some frustration and before long, the Tigers were getting impatient and taking ill-advised shots. Add to that some early defensive struggles and it’s a recipe for disaster, which is exactly what happened in the 66-41 loss to the Vikings.
Things got off to a rough start for the Northwestern girls basketball team in its semifinal game against Southern Lehigh last week. Things only got worse as the game went on.
For the second game in a row, Northwestern (20-4) was in early foul trouble and turned the ball over at an unusually high rate. The result was a 55-18 loss to the Lady Spartans, who went on to play Notre Dame-Green Pond (21-2) in the Colonial League championship game.
Teams that miss their league playoffs can always sit down, look back at the season and find a game or two that they let slip away. The Northwestern Tigers aren’t doing that. They are looking at the fact that they qualified for play in the District 11 playoffs and could still have a lot of basketball left to play.
Some players reach milestone scoring achievements in their careers because they always are the one putting up shots. Put up enough shots and with a good enough skill level, you’ll get to 1,000.
Others are pretty much the only offensive choice for a team and they have to shoot the ball often. Neither of those apply to Northwestern senior Sam Yadush, who recently reached the 1,000-point plateau for Northwestern Lehigh.
Yadush believes in having a supporting cast and recognizes just how important those people are in his life, both on the court and off.
For the third time this season, the Northwestern girls basketball team will face its nemesis, the Southern Lehigh Spartans.
This time, the game will have even more meaning as the two teams meet in the semifinals of the Colonial League playoffs.
As the number-two seed in the tournament, the Lady Spartans (19-3) had a bye through the quarterfinals, while Northwestern downed Moravian Academy 61-29.
The semifinal, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed twice and as of Wednesday morning was slated to be played Thursday at Whitehall High School.
Just as quickly as things turned sour for the Northwestern boys basketball team, they turned right around.
The Tigers have won three of their last four games heading into their regular season finale against Pen Argyl (3-18 overall, 2-15 Colonial). In late January, the season hit a low-point with a 71-46 loss to Northern Lehigh.
For the Salisbury seniors, Saturday afternoon was the final time that they would take to their home court and the Northwestern Lady Tigers made it a forgettable experience. Northwestern ran away with a 60-18 win.
Northwestern was able to take advantage of a distinct height advantage and continued to pound the ball down low to Emily Sekerak and Sage Christopher.
The plan worked offensively as Christopher finished with a game-high 14 and Sekerak had 13 points. Most of their points came in the first half.
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.
With a team that didn’t lose any starters from last year, the Northwestern Tigers were picked to be one of the top teams in the Colonial League this season. Unfortunately, they’ve hit some bumps in the road that have them fighting for a spot in postseason play.
On Friday night, Northwestern traveled to Slatington to take on Northern Lehigh in a key game that carried a lot of playoff implications in both the Colonial League and District 11. Unfortunately for Northwestern, it was all Bulldogs in a 71-46 final.