hoops boys nsh
As they turn the corner for the final stage of their season, Northampton's boys' basketball team can confidently prepare for their next set of challenges in a breakthrough season.
Despite beginning the week off losses to Nazareth and Parkland, the Konkrete Kids are still in contention for an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoff spot as well as continuing to mature as a team.
"We felt good about Parkland," said head coach Coy Stampone, whose team fell to 11-6 overall after a 63-41 loss to the high-powered Trojans. "With five minutes left in the game, we were down 45-41. But they went on an 18-1 run and they made 15 of 26 three-pointers.
"They (Parkland) are just a very good team. We played well for most of the game and it was a totally different game than last time we played them. This time, we had the ball down by five and we didn't execute and make shots.
"But this team has come a long way. We don't let a loss affect it like it used to. We had a similar situation against Nazareth and we didn't make out shots at the end."
Stampone would like to see his team make the league playoffs, as it would be another major mark after clinching a district spot. The Kids have Emmaus, Whitehall, Central Catholic, and Nazareth left along with a date in Phillipsburg.
He is aware they can control their own destiny in this case.
"We really can't worry about what other teams are doing, we just have to worry about winning our games," he stated. "We're right there. We will have a challenge with P-Burg. Our first goal was to get to districts and we wanted to get to the league playoffs.
"Now, we have that challenge in front of us. The kids are looking forward to it and they are very relaxed and confident."
With a rugged final four games of the regular season, Stampone believes his unit will tackle the challenge. The Kids currently are wedged between the sixth and seventh spot in the District 11 AAAA bracket and could see Pocono Mountain West again.
"They know we have big games ahead," he said. "We have been challenged throughout the season. But these kids just like to play. We have been playing for a long time this season. We play well, and we play hard.
"It is an exciting time for them and us coaches, too."