Boys fall shy of districts
Northampton boys’ basketball coach Coy Stampone knew the feeling about how close his team came to clinching a district playoff spot this winter. His team fell a game short last season.
Again, the Konkrete Kids were in striking distance this winter, but they couldn’t close the deal.
The Kids finished the regular season with a 9-13 record and also were a game away from clinching one of the eight district spots in the Class 6A bracket. They were in a must-win situation at Parkland Feb. 8, but they dropped a 59-47 decision.
“We let a couple of games slip away from us this year,” said Stampone, who completed his fifth year at the helm. “It was a matter of a play here and a bounce there. We were right there and we were in every game this year.
“We played very well in the Parkland game and we left everything on the floor. They were playing very well and it is a tough place to win. As a result, Easton snuck in ahead of us for the final spot.
“I am very proud of how the kids played and what we accomplished. We did have some bright spots.”
Stampone cited the team’s efforts in wins against Liberty and Allentown Central Catholic as two of the main highlights of the season. He will lose a core of five seniors, all of whom began with him on the middle school team.
“Those guys have been with me all the way,” said Stampone. “It was a tough ending for all of us at Parkland. I will miss them, but we have a good group coming back.”
Junior Aidan Elwood, who returned to the program this year after spending a year at Central Catholic, will begin the year with 930 career points, ones he accumulated at both Northampton and Central Catholic. Stampone believes Elwood can also reach the 1,000-point plateau in a Northampton uniform alone next year.
Along with Elwood, the Kids will welcome back Mike Torres, Tim Gribb, Josh Smith, and Tyler Gilliard, all of whom figure in their plans. Stampone noted the program’s freshman team posted a 17-4 record this winter and had three freshmen playing on the JV team.
Looking back on the year, Stampone realized how quickly his team’s fate could have changed. He also watched his team develop along the way.
“We easily could have been 13-9 instead of 9-13,” he stated. “We were in many situations that could have turned our way. We grew up throughout the season and we don’t have anything to be ashamed.”
Stampone anticipated beginning offseason workouts this spring before their play in the Allentown Summer League begins in late May. He sees the team participating in either a team camp or tournament in late June and then playing in SportsFest in July.
“We’ll take some time off, but we’ll look to get the ball rolling soon,” he added. “We’re anxious to get back and we’ll need to work hard in the offseason.”