Senior night games are always special.
But when a seldom-used varsity player gets a chance to not only start for the first time in his career, but also makes a huge impact on the game, it can make for a memorable time for everyone in the gym.
Last week Northwestern senior Jonathan Maurer got his first start of the season. Just a minute and 15 seconds into the game, he drained the first three-pointer of his varsity career.
After a record-setting high school soccer career at Northwestern, Sarah Segan will head for the College of William and Mary to continue her career at the Division I level. Segan signed her letter of intent at a ceremony on Wednesday and is looking forward to the next part of both her academic and athletic life.
Northwestern competed in the District 11 team wrestling tournament last week.
The Tigers, which earned the fifth seed in Class AA, beat 12-seed Williams Valley, 40-30 in the opener before losing to Northern Lehigh last Thursday at Panther Valley High School in Lansford.
The Tigers returned to battle through the losers bracket Saturday at Freedom High School in Bethlehem. They survived two matches with wins over Panther Valley, 40-25, and North Schuylkill, 39-22, before falling to top-seeded Saucon Valley in the loser's bracket final.
If Northwestern had any hope of playing in Saturday's quarterfinal round of the Colonial League girls basketball tournament, a victory over Salisbury on Tuesday was necessary.
The Tigers kept those aspirations alive with one conference game remaining.
The improvement the Northwestern basketball has shown this year is evident in the team's record.
At 8-12 overall and 5-10 in the Colonial League, this year's team has more wins than any Tiger team since the 2009-10 team went 7-9.
Northwestern has been learning how to win games all season long, and it showed Saturday when the Tigers pulled out their first close game of the season, beating Pen Argyl , 54-50 on a late Parker Jones three-pointer and a Taylor Breininger steal that sealed the win.
When the Colonial League boys and girls basketball tournaments begin in a little more than two weeks, the setup will look a bit different than it has in the past.
With the addition of Moravian Academy to a number of Colonial League sports, including boys and girls basketball, the tournament now includes six teams compared to four in previous years. Additionally, there will be a wildcard round in which the two top teams receive byes.
A win against Southern Lehigh last week would have positioned the Northwestern girls basketball team in a good spot to make a run at the Colonial League playoffs.
But that task got a bit more difficult following Thursday's meeting with the league's top squad.
Despite pulling to within 34-33 with 5:08 remaining after trailing from the opening tipoff, the Tigers could never overtake the host Spartans. Erika Thomas' drive brought the Tigers within a point, but Southern Lehigh scored 11 of the next 14 points to down Northwestern, 45-36, at Southern Lehigh High School.
In a season that has seen its share of heartbreaking defeats, Tuesday's loss to Northern Lehigh has to rank among the most painful for Northwestern.
Playing a team that they had beaten by 23 points earlier this season, the Tigers dug themselves a huge early hole, staged a brilliant comeback, but then stumbled down the stretch.
The result was a 63-57 Colonial League setback.
The Tigers proved to be more than up to the challenge against the top-seeded Saucon Valley at Tuesday's Colonial League team wrestling championships.
Northwestern, the No. 4 seed in the four-team event, took an early 10-5 lead after a pin by Jarret White (126) and a major decision by Caleb Clymer (138).
But three straight bonus point wins by Dylan Yonney (145), Nate Harka (152) and Brett Suites (160) gave Saucon Valley a 19-10 lead, an advantage that it would never surrender en route to a 35-30 win.
Holding an eight-point lead with 1:02 to play, Northwestern and head coach Billy Hallman could almost taste his team's fifth Colonial League win of the season.
But Palisades had other plans for that final minute.
After trailing 51-43, the Pirates scored 10 of the next 12 points, including two three-pointers in the final 47 seconds. Both of those daggers came from Landon Mueller, including the second with 10.7 ticks remaining that sent the game into overtime at 53-53.