Home Front end Palmerton Women’s Basketball Surpasses Executive Education to Win 1st District Title in 25 Years

Palmerton Women’s Basketball Surpasses Executive Education to Win 1st District Title in 25 Years

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The Palmerton women’s basketball team was tired of finishing second.

The Blue Bombers lost in the Colonial League and District 11 Class 3A championship games last season and suffered a grueling 40-38 loss to Northwestern Lehigh in the league title game this year.

With a shot at the D-11 Championship on the line in their District 11/12 3A Sub-Regional Semi-Final against Executive Education, Palmerton took control in the fourth quarter to claim their first District title in 25 years.

“We are thrilled right now. Last year we came away with two silvers, then obviously we missed Northwestern by two points, we got another silver. This victory is incredible and we are really happy. We’ve worked very hard for this,” Palmerton senior Brianna Moore said.

Top-seeded Palmerton will face second-seeded MaST Community Charter (District 12), who beat Pine Grove 64-55 in the other semi-final, for the sub-regional championship on Friday. Executive Education (15-8) will face Pine Grove in a consolation match with a spot in the PIAA 3A tournament on the line.

The Blue Bombers (22-2) are the last D-11 team remaining in the sub-regional tournament, giving them their second district title in program history and their first since winning the D-11 title. 2A in 1996/97.

“I’m a senior, so it’s really great. It’s the first time we’ve won a district championship in many years, so it’s really amazing,” Palmerton senior Raegan Nemeth said.

Nemeth hit 3 straight corners to give the Blue Bombers a 45-38 lead with 2:01 remaining. The senior, who scored her 15 points from beyond the arc, hit another three earlier in the fourth quarter that gave Palmerton their first lead in the opening five minutes of the contest.

“I knew I had to adjust something and I was just confident. I just relaxed. I really thought it was going to be there in the fourth quarter,” Nemeth said of his shot from the perimeter. “After the first shot, I felt really confident. I just kept shooting up there, hoping he would come in.

Sophomore guard Tiana Carey hit a 3 from the wing to put the Raptors within 45-41 before junior Bethie Morgan hit the forward a one-and-one to give Palmerton five points with 1 :16 to play. After senior guard Shaylynn Waiters knocked down two shots from the foul line, Moore also hit the front of an end that put the Blue Bombers ahead 47-43 with 42 seconds left.

Executive Education struggled to create an open eye for their next possession and senior guard T’Nyah Riggins and Waiters missed on three runs.

Moore, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, went one for two from the charity strip with nine seconds left and Riggins responded with the game’s final points on a deep 3.

“It was a very tight game the whole way through. It was emotional out there, it was going back and forth,” Moore said. attacked the hoop instead of relying on outside shots. We also put pressure on them.

Palmerton failed to find his offensive rhythm in the first half as the Raptors’ zone defense stifled his ball movement and forced turnovers that opened up their transition offense. The Blue Bombers were held scoreless for eight minutes of playing time from the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter.

“We also like to transition a lot, so it was one-on-one against a transition offense. We have very good stamina,” Morgan said. “I think it showed we got past them in the second half.”

A 3-pointer from Morgan broke that drought, but a Waiters layup and two foul shots from senior striker Kimberly Madrid gave Executive Education a 21-12 lead with 1:55 left in the first half. -time. Morgan, who scored 13 of Palmerton’s first-half points, scored three buckets in the paint in the final minute of the second quarter to cut the Raptors’ lead to 21-18 at the break.

“I counted on my team to get me the ball. We weren’t dropping our shots so I knew I had to strengthen my team because we had to score one way or another,” Morgan said. “We didn’t make our shots in the first but, because we kept shooting in the second, that’s how we won.”

Morgan led the Blue Bombers with 16 points and sophomore forward Megan Matsko had 13 rebounds.

Servers led all scorers with 17 while Riggins finished with nine.

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Desmond Boyle can be reached at [email protected].