Story first appeared in the Dec. 28, 2016 edition of The Northwestern Press and on thelehighvalleypress.com.
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.
“Playing tonight after last night was the best thing for us, for a young team,” Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch said. “Our message tonight was to let last night go and come back tonight with a fast start and I think we did that.”
Northwestern jumped out to a 6-0 lead and led 17-1 after the first quarter. Northern Lehigh was scoreless from the field as its lone point was a successful foul shot by freshman Jada Mills.
The Lady Tigers continued their strong play in the second frame scoring 20 points in the quarter. Jada Saeger of the Lady Bulldogs scored all six of the team’s second quarter points as it was 37-7 at the break.
The third quarter caused some fits for Northwestern as the Lady Tigers turned it over seven times in the frame.
“We are giving some younger girls some time to play and we are trying to figure out match ups,” Deutsch said about the third-quarter miscues. “Are they going to make mistakes? Yea, but we want to put them in these situations so they can learn from it. We were not happy with the third quarter, but I thought we played better in the fourth and those same girls played in both quarters.”
Northwestern finished the game strong defensively, giving up only five points in the final frame.
“I thought we shared the ball well and moved it well tonight,” Deutsch said. “I thought we established an inside presence. I think we were bigger inside and took advantage of that. I thought we played well defensively, too.”
Junior Leighanna Lister led Northwestern with 10 points. Junior Abby Chisdak and sophomore Sage Christopher each posted nine points.
The Lady Tigers were off for the Christmas holiday, but battled Hamburg in a nonleague game on Tuesday night. Following that, Deutsch said his team will take it to the next level.
“We told our girls that this is the time of the year that we want to start cranking it up,” he said. “We are 4-3 at this point and I think our schedule has been tough. We played tough teams both league and nonleague. This is where I think we need to crank it up. We want to build and grow.
“With a young team, it is so important to get them experience. I like the group and they really want to learn. I think we are going to have them at their best at the end of the year.”
Northwestern hosts Wilson on Jan. 3 and visits Palmerton on Jan. 5. Both games are 7 p.m. tipoffs.