After a double overtime loss to Catasauqua last Wednesday, the Northwestern boys basketball team was eager to get back on the court and bounce back from its first loss of the season.
The Tigers did just that Friday night when they beat Brandywine 46-34 in a nonleague game that was played a day early because of Saturday’s snowfall.
“It’s good to get a win,” said Northwestern head coach Billy Hallman. “Wednesday was a tough one. I’m glad they moved the game up to [Friday] so we could get it in.”
Northwestern boys soccer head coach Nate Hunsicker had some of this year’s senior class as middle school students five years ago.
They let him know back then that they planned to play for him in the not-so-distant future. Some of them even told him they planned to be pretty good and maybe even win some titles.
Last week Northwestern was the team pulling off the upset. This week the Tigers were on the other side.
Bangor scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to come back from a 19-point halftime deficit and beat Northwestern 36-28 at Bangor Memorial Park.
“This team hasn’t figured out how to finish teams off when they have them on the ropes,” said Northwestern head coach Josh Snyder. “All of our losses we’ve been up by two scores in the second half and just can’t find a way to finish things. It’s a learning process but unfortunately we’re seven games into it by now.”
Last year Northwestern and Salisbury met twice in the boys soccer postseason. They were two of the best teams in the Colonial League and were the last two standing when the District 11 Class AA championship game came around.
This year the two are again among the best teams in the Colonial League. They met last week for their first and only regular season game. They played to a 1-1 draw that allowed both to escape without suffering the first loss on their 2016 schedule.
The best thing for a good team to do after a loss is get right back to competition.
After the Northwestern girls soccer team suffered its first loss of the season Friday, the Lady Tigers were fortunate to have a Saturday morning game to shake off the loss.
Northwestern did just that in beating Liberty 4-0 Saturday in New Tripoli.
While Northwestern graduated the most recognizable piece of last year’s state semifinalist team, the Tigers have a lot of last year’s cast back this year and are expecting just as much from this season, maybe even more.
The Tigers are off to a 6-0 start to the season and while they are no longer relying on one primary scorer to do most of the damage, they are getting offense from several different players and it’s been working just as well as last year’s plan.
The DeSales Invitational, held each year in early September, is used by the area’s top cross country teams as a gauge. It gives teams an early look at the competition that they will see in league and district championship races, and some that they might not run into until the state meet.
Northwestern’s girls team had its eye on one other team specifically.
The Lady Tigers knew Southern Lehigh had the potential to end their streak of a 135 consecutive league wins, so they wanted to go head-to-head with the Spartans in a nonleague setting just to get a gauge.
Last season Northwestern’s girls soccer team had a new look. The team saw three 2015 graduates depart for Division I college teams along with four other classmates who were key parts of the team for several years.
The Tigers weathered that rebuilding process. They went 13-5 last season and reached the Colonial League title game and the District 11 Class 2A semifinal.
Four players have graduated from that 2015 squad, but Northwestern still has the pieces in place for another successful season.
Northwestern girls cross country head coach Chris Stitzel and his runners know that someday the streak is going to end. But they’re committed to putting off that eventuality for as long as possible.
No one wants this year to be the first time in six years that the Tigers lose a meet. They have beaten 129 straight opponents and head into this year looking to increase that number.
However, the best way to keep the streak alive might be to make sure not to focus on it.
Early in the Lehigh Valley Legion season Northern Valley was a team in jeopardy of missing out on the league playoffs.
Not much more than a month later, the Chargers were the last team from the Lehigh Valley area still playing in the Region 2 playoffs.