Northwestern senior Ryan Hippensteel walked onto the court during halftime to begin shooting around before the second half. He walked to a precise location on the court and made three consecutive shots from that spot when he thought no one was watching.
About 30 minutes later, Hippensteel, with the entire crowd watching him, drained a three-pointer from that same spot to clinch a 77-73 upset victory over Catasauqua on Senior Night at Northwestern Lehigh High School to finish the 2016-17 season for the Tigers.
Before he took over as head coach of the boys basketball team, Billy Hallman was a part of the Northwestern girls basketball program, which has experienced a lot of success over the years.
Now Hallman wants to wage a friendly competition with his former boss, Chris Deutsch, and the girls team.
“My goal is to play further than the girls team next year,” Hallman said with a smile. “I got a little competition going with [girls head coach Chris Deutsch] and I hope he is ready because we are coming.”
Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch couldn’t remember a season where he had just one senior. This year’s team has just one outgoing member, Paige Stitzel, and she got the start on senior night as the Lady Tigers defeated Pen Argyl 56-34 in a Colonial League girls basketball game.
Not only is Stitzel special for being the solo member of this year’s senior class, but also for the work she put in over the years and for what she gave up to have that spotlight of the Northwestern Lehigh High School Gymnasium during pregame on Tuesday night.
There is a lot of familiarity between the Lehighton and Northwestern boys basketball programs. There are few secrets, if any, between the coaching staffs. When the two teams battle, it always comes down to execution. On Saturday afternoon, it was the Indians who had more shots fall.
Lehighton staved off a late-game surge by Northwestern and hung on for a 55-50 win in a nonleague game at Northwestern Lehigh High School.
Northwestern wrestling head coach Jim Moll had a simple message for his team heading into its match against league unbeaten Bangor last week.
“We just wanted to wrestle hard,” Moll said. “We try to get the guys to wrestle hard and try to get better. We like to win matches and dual meets, but that isn’t always the case. We stressed just wrestling hard and getting better.”
Since falling to Southern Lehigh back on Dec. 21, the Northwestern girls’ basketball team has not lost.
The Lady Tigers continued their winning streak on Saturday afternoon when they defeated Salisbury, 43-22, in a Colonial League game in New Tripoli.
“The more we play together the better we are getting,” Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch. “Our girls are getting more confidence. We played the next night after that loss and it was the perfect medicine for us. We never thought about it. Also, our defensive effort has gone to a new level. They are really buying in.”
The blueprint for success for the Northwestern boys’ basketball program for this season is mixing youth and experience in the lineup.
The plan worked to perfection against Northern Lehigh last week.
The Tigers (3-2 overall, 2-2 Colonial League) battled the Bulldogs in the first half, but pulled away in the final two frames as they notched a 53-33 victory in New Tripoli last week in the latest battle of the Mountain Road Rivalry.
Northwestern girls’ basketball head coach Chris Deutsch was happy his team played on Dec. 22, the opponent nor the outcome didn’t matter to him.
It didn’t hurt that it resulted in a win either.
The Lady Tigers (4-3, 3-1 Colonial League) bounced back from an unpleasant 66-28 loss to Southern Lehigh on Dec. 21 as they defeated Northern Lehigh 58-22 in the first game of a boys-girls varsity doubleheader for the Mountain Road Rivalry at Northwestern Lehigh High School.
National championships in any sport beckon the best that sport has to offer.
In track cycling, one of the best resides right here in the Lehigh Valley.
James Mellen of Schnecksville earned multiple national medals, including two national championships, during the 2016 USA Cycling Junior and Elite Track Cycling National Championships at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Breinigsville in late July.
Before any events were even completed, Mellen considered himself victorious.
Sophie Shuhay decided to commit to track cycling just a few months ago.
Now she is a national champion.
The New Tripoli resident competed last week at the 2016 USA Cycling Junior and Elite Track Cycling National Championships at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Breinigsville, where she earned a gold medal in the women’s 13-14 year old 500-meter time trial.
Shuhay earned the top spot on the podium with a time of 39.186, which, according to her, is right at par with her average times.