They're in! Girls upset Parkland, clinch a district berth
Jeff Jacksits said his team "got to believe in themselves" - and his girls sure do.
Northampton knocked off Parkland 42-35 Tuesday night and not only did the Kids win their sixth-straight game, but also clinched a berth in the District 11 Class 4A girls basketball tournament.
Northampton boosted its record to 7-6 in the Lehigh Valley Conference and 10-11 with one game remaining-Friday at Nazareth.
The Kids, who seemed "as good as dead" as far as playoffs are concerned, had a 2-6 LVC record after losing to Central Catholic on Jan. 18, and were 4-11 overall after falling to Pocono Mountain West the next day.
But the Kids really rebounded by beating Allen and Liberty two weeks ago and following that up with LVC wins over Whitehall (59-53) and Easton (48-43) before topping Stroudsburg (34-30) in a nonleague game.
The Kids put icing on the cake with their win over Parkland in a LVC North Division upset.
Northampton led 12-4 after one period and 24-12 at halftime as Parkland had trouble making baskets. But, the Trojans recovered fast and held Northampton to three, third-quarter points and scored 13 themselves to close to 27-25 with eight minutes left.
Leandra Sterner, the Kids' top scorer with 17 points, hit on a three-point play to start the final period and Parkland was out of it. Senior Ashley Brink added 10 points as she and Michele Dally celebrated their win on "Senior Parents Night."
While Tuesday's win was "big," Monday's win over Stroudsburg provided a milestone for Jacksits - his 150th win as the Kids coach in nine years. Not bad considering his first team won only four games and in his second year the Kids won nine. That means 137 wins since - plus one more after beating Parkland.
Against Whitehall, Kayla Csencsits and Sterner each scored 16 points and Brink added 10 as the Kids averaged an early season 38-34 loss. Sterner was 10-for-12 from the foul line including 5-for-6 in a crucial fourth quarter.
Then against Easton, Sterner had a game-high 23 points and Erica Filipovits pulled down a season-high 10 rebounds. Easton led 28-24 at halftime with Sterner keeping the Kids in the game with 14. Csencsits broke a tie late in the fourth period with a three-pointer and Sterner added a critical foul shot to wrap up the win.
The win over Stroudsburg - a Mountain Valley Conference competitor - was mainly a victory for the Konkrete Kid subs as Jacksits used his regular starters sparingly. Still, Sterner and Brink led the way with seven points each and Filipovits again had 10 rebounds and picked up three blocked shots.
Northampton's big win over Parkland pushed Jacksits' career record to 151-83.