Appeared in Tuesday, Dec. 23’s edition of the Times News.
A basketball game was suppose to take place Monday at Northwestern High School.
Instead, a track meet broke out.
Northwestern (4-4 overall, 2-3 CL) had enough stamina to win the race and subsequently the basketball game as the Tigers defeated Colonial League rival Northern Lehigh, 63-40, in a battle of up-tempo and high flying offenses in New Tripoli.
“We want to get up and down the floor. We hope that at some point in the game we wear the other opponent down,” said Northwestern first-year head coach Billy Hallman. “I think it definitely caught up to Northern Lehigh, especially in the second half.”
The Bulldogs (1-5, 0-4) were keeping pace early in the game and leading 20-18 after the first frame thanks in large part to junior newcomer Tyshawn Golden’s 11 first quarter points, nine of which came from beyond the arc. The guard finished with 17, leading the way for Northern Lehigh.
Golden and company went cold from the floor in the second quarter, going 0-for-10 from the field. The lone point came from a foul shot by junior Aaron Hofmann.
Northwestern capitalized after a slight scoring drought of its own, retaking the lead, which they’d never relinquish and muster a 31-21 advantage at the break.
“Their athleticism hurt us,” admitted Northern Lehigh head coach Jeff Miller. “We had thought that if we had scored the basketball, we could limit their transitions. Not being able to put the ball in the basket, did not slow down their transitions and that was basically the game in a nutshell, us not being able to score which led to them getting transition buckets.”
The Tigers broke it open in the third quarter, enjoying a double-digit led the rest of the way, by swinging the momentum by way of hustle.
With help from junior guard Parker Jones, who worked for hard fought rebounds and loose balls all night, classmate Brady Mengel and senior Taylor Breininger poured in the buckets, scoring 14 and nine points, respectively. Senior point guard Josh Williams added 10 points and two rebounds.
With this being Northwestern’s first victory over Northern Lehigh in five years, Hallman hopes this sets the tone for the future.
“That’s what we talked about before the game. It has been since 2009 since we beat Northern Lehigh 10 games. It meant a lot to these seniors to get a win early this season and we are going to use it as a stepping stone moving forward.”
Golden 7-0-0-17, Meixsell 1-0-0-2, Egan 2-0-0-5, Taylor 1-0-0-3, Shupp 1-0-0-2, Smith 0-0-0-0, McNair 0-0-0-0, Traca 0-0-0-0, Seiler 0-0-0-0, Hofmann 2-3-5-7, Mujovic 0-0-0-0, Hamm 2-0-0-4. Totals: 16-3-5-40.
Archer 0-0-0-0, Williamson 5-0-0-10, Mengel 6-0-0-14, Jones 2-1-2-7, Du. Snyder 1-0-0-2, Breininger 2-5-8-9, Dangello 3-0-0-7, Shuey 0-0-0-0, Storm 1-0-0-2, Richardson 4-1-2-9, Dy. Snyder 0-0-2-0, Maurer 0-0-0-0, Lister 0-0-0-0, Haddad 1-0-0-2, Hess 0-1-2-1. Totals: 25-8-16-63
No. Lehigh 20 1 9 10 – 40
Northwestern 18 13 16 16 -63
Three-pointers: NL – Golden 3, Egan 1, Taylor 1; NW – Mengel 2, Jones 2, Dangello 1.