Northampton Press

Friday, October 20, 2017
Jenna Rodgers had a nice summer for the girls basketball team and she’s hoping to keep it up this coming winter season. Copyright - DON HERB Jenna Rodgers had a nice summer for the girls basketball team and she’s hoping to keep it up this coming winter season. Copyright - DON HERB

SportsFest run shows potential of NHS girls basketball team

Friday, August 11, 2017 by Scott Pagel spagel@tnonline.com in Sports

The Northampton girls basketball team recently concluded their summer workouts, and they are hoping some of the results are a good sign of things to come this winter season.

While last summer there may have been less questions to answer, as the team returned one of the best players to ever suit up on the NHS basketball court in Aja Blount, coming into this winter some more things will need to be worked out.

But, the signs are there it can be another special season for the Kids.

“If the girls work hard and believe in themselves and their teammates, the staff believes we will have a very successful winter,” said head coach Jeff Jacksits.

Northampton finished the Central Catholic summer league with a .500 record. But it wasn’t necessarily about wins and losses.

“This summer we are looking to see what players are going to step up their game and make positive contributions for next season,” Jacksits said.

Jacksits said Victoria Keenan and Jenna Rodgers had the most productive summer season. The head coach added he also saw positive contributions from Jade Rindock and Autumn Vanhorn. While that seems to be a solid start, the team will need more.

“Other players made contributions also but not on a consistent, game-to-game basis,” said Jacksits, “which is one of the things we will need to develop in order to become a very good team. Players will need to recognize their role and work towards honing those skills needed to become a positive contributor during the season.”

But again, the signs were there as the team entered the SportsFest tournament. The girls went 2-1 in their bracket to advance past pool play. They beat Catty 34-14, which was followed by a loss to DBL, 47-45 before a 52-29 victory over Muhlenberg.

After that it was bracket play, which began with a 44-40 win over Lehighton. Next up was a victory over Jim Thorpe, 56-38. In the semifinals, the girls beat Dunmore 53-52 to advance to the finals against Bethlehem Catholic, which was eventually won by the defending state champ Hawks.

But as the summer winds down and we head to the high school sports season, the girls run at Sportsfest could prove to be a steppingstone.

“The staff saw a glimpse of this during the SportsFest tournament,” Jacksits said about the teams potential. “We made it to the final of the SportsFest tournament for the second consecutive year. The girls showed signs of maturity and teamwork during our run in the tournament.”

Keenan was named to the all-tournament team when all was said and done. Also making the team was Asha Talib of Allen, Kelly Quinn of Dunmore, Nicole Mallard of Warren Hills and Taliyah Medina of Becahi. Becahi’s Hope Brown was the MVP.