Boys continue their surge
Life for the Northampton basketball team continues to have a new twist, and it continues to be good.
The Konkrete Kids began the week with an overall 8-4 record and a 5-3 slate in the East Penn Conference. They also had a four-game winning streak, ironically one more win than they accumulated in each of the past two seasons.
With 10 games remaining, the Kids are three wins shy of clinching their first district berth since the 2009-10 season and also are in the running for the league playoffs.
They also continue to feed off an emotional and pivotal recent victory over Whitehall in which they firmly established their stance as a legitimate contender.
Fortunately, the transition hasn't reached its full potential.
"Things are good for us," said head coach Coy Stampone. "It is a lot of fun right now. The kids are listening and they are responding well. We have had some huge wins and everyone is responding. We have been fighting until the end of games."
Stampone noted his team's recent 58-51 win over Freedom, a few days after their emotional Whitehall victory. They then responded with a 55-35 victory over Dieruff.
"We had leads against them (Freedom) and they came back," said Stampone. "We didn't give up the lead and we fought back. That's a good sign for us. To get those wins was huge for us."
Stampone also cited his team's defensive effort, as they had held three of their last four opponents under 40 points. He also has been pleased with having three or four players in double figure scoring on any given night.
"We're playing good defense and we have been unselfish," he stated. "It really has been each guy out there. But we still have 10 games to go and we have to stay focused."
The Kids began the week facing Easton Tuesday before they tangle with Allentown Central Catholic Friday and Lehighton Saturday.
"We have another big week ahead," said Stampone. "We will have a good test with Central (Catholic) Friday and then have to bounce right back to face a good Lehighton team the next morning. We have had trouble with Saturday games."
Stampone and his team have relished a revived support from the student body, as well as a strong fan core. He also anticipates further interest in the program at all levels.
"We have had some great crowds from the student section and the community has been supporting us," he said. "That has helped. With us winning, we are looking to increase our team chemistry and confidence within our basketball community."
Yet, Stampone wants to keep everything in its proper perspective.
"We do have a longtime left in the season," he said. "We have to keep executing. We have to face Nazareth twice and we have rematches with Parkland and Emmaus and we still have to go to Whitehall.
"We're proud of what we have accomplished and we have to continue to build."