Coming into this past weekend, the Northwestern boys basketball team hadn’t dropped back-to-back games this season. But after Monday’s loss to Notre Dame (Green Pond), the Tigers (8-6 overall; 6-5 Colonial League) have lost three straight games and have some tough games down the road.
The three losses have come against Colonial League opponents with a combined league record of 21-12 and an overall mark of 25-18. The one that truly got away was Saturday’s 76-53 loss to Southern Lehigh (5-5, 5-9) when the Tigers simply came out slow against the Spartans.
As the Northwestern wrestling team prepares for postseason competition, it looks as if the Tigers will be the healthiest they’ve been in awhile.
And that health is translating to success up and down the lineup for head coach Jim Moll.
In a battle of two of the Colonial League’s top teams, Northwestern left little doubt as to who was the better team last Tuesday night. The Tigers (4-0 in Colonial League) earned six falls en route to a dominant 56-24 win over Southern Lehigh (2-2) at Northwestern High School.
The Phantoms reached the halfway point of their season with what Phil Varone called an “embarrassing” performance in a 6-2 loss to Springfield Saturday night. Lehigh Valley came out with a good first period, but that was about all it was able to put together as the Thunderbirds scored four unanswered goals to waltz out of the PPL Center with a win.
Varone scored his 100th career AHL goal in the game, but was more focused on the weak effort that the team put on the ice.
Southern Lehigh’s girls basketball team has developed a reputation for running over opponents this season. In their 10 wins, the Spartans’ margin of victory is just over 28 points per game, and Northwestern is the only Colonial League team to lose to the Spartans by less than 10 points when they dropped a 51-48 game three weeks ago.
In two nonleague losses against Archbishop Carroll and Easton, Southern Lehigh has lost by a combined eight points, and the Spartans currently have a six-game winning streak.
Northwestern 48, Dieruff 27
195: Tahahawi Tahahawi (D) dec. Isaac Bredbenner, 11-4
220: Xavier Garcia (D) pinned Peter Yablanski in 5:59
285: Karam Chakif (D) pinned Hayden Bobbyn in 1:31
106: Jake Dellicker (NW) pinned Wilfredo Escobales in 4:34
113: Jerry Villanueva (D) dec. Blake Brunner (NW) (Dec 2-0
120: Ben Griffith (NW) pinned Austin Marte (D) (Fall 4:30
126: Miguel Pena (D) pinned Anthony Russo (NW) (Fall 0:50
132: Donovan White (NW) pinned Kevin Thompson (D) (Fall 1:16
Many times, the second half of a basketball season finds teams wishing for an extra day off here or there. Winter weather sometimes backs games up to where teams are being stretched and coaches would like a day or two to work on some things, but they just don’t have the time.
That hasn’t been the case over the past couple of weeks as holidays slowed the Colonial League schedule and teams were just aching to play a serious game against someone other than players on their team.
Northwestern knew it had an advantage inside with senior Leighanna Lister when it traveled to Salisbury over the weekend.
Then the Tigers executed that mismatch to perfection early and often.
Lister, the Georgian Court University commit, scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Northwestern raced out to a quick lead and dominated Salisbury (5-6 overall; 4-3 in Colonial League) 50-24. The Tigers (8-3, 6-1) have won four straight league games.
Sara Hathaway knew the expectations — and embraced them.
You can’t play soccer at Northwestern and not be aware of the recent success the program has enjoyed.
Since 2000, the Tigers have an .847 winning percentage, have captured 10 Colonial League Championships, five District 11 Championships, and have appeared in the PIAA state playoffs 12 times.
Hathaway’s desire was to be a part of that tradition.
Her goal was to continue it.
“I definitely followed the high school team when I was growing up,” said Hathaway. “I knew how successful they were.”
When Noah Meyers first stepped on to the Northwestern High School soccer field, the first thing that Tiger coach Nate Hunsicker noticed was his quickness.
He sensed that everything else would fall into place for him as a player and that his quickness would eventually be something that the team could use in key spots later in his high school career.
Even as he was watching Meyers make key contributions to the team from his midfield position as an underclassman, Hunsicker was envisioning him filling an even more vital role in his senior season.
Hunsicker was right.
One thing that Northwestern’s wrestling coaches have wanted to see more from Caleb Clymer is his ability to attack on his feet. After winning the 170-pound championship in Friday’s finals of the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic, Clymer still feels he needs work on his neutral game, but if he can ever put that together with the rest of his arsenal, he’ll be a force in the postseason.
Clymer used a second period tilt over Pennridge’s Logan Green to build a 3-0 lead heading into the third period before completing a 5-0 shutout for the title.