Northampton Press

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Boys clinch D-11 berth

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

These are the times for the Northampton boys’ basketball team.

The Konkrete Kids began the week with an eight-game winning streak and they clinched a district playoff berth in the process.

And they are enjoying the moment with an 11-3 overall record.

“We’re playing great right now,” said head coach Coy Stampone, whose teams never own eight straight games over his six seasons. “It is also big for us to clinch a district spot this early.

“It’s a nice situation for everyone. These kids are resilient. They have been able to handle any kind of adversity. They listen and are prepared for anything. Nothing fazes them.”

The Kids recently posted one of their biggest victories of the season when they avenged an earlier 30-point loss to Allentown Central Catholic in a 60-45 win, and then followed the following night with a buzzer-beater 52-51 victory over state-ranked Bethlehem Catholic.

“We had a tough loss to them (Central Catholic) the first time around, and the kids still had a bad taste in their mouths,” added Stampone. “It was an emotional win for them and we had to bounce back and play Beca in 24 hours.

“Beca is a very, very good team. We knew we would have our hands full because they have excellent big men and guards. But we got out to a lead and then had to battle the right of the night.”

Cory Weisenberger was the final recipient of three passes up court, and the senior sank a layup at the buzzer to beat Becahi. The Kids began the play with 5.1 seconds on the clock.

However, Stampone credited the play of Tyrese Brandon, who raced down court and managed to deflect the ball off Becahi’s Ryan Young heading toward an apparent game-clinching basket.

“Tyrese (Brandon) made the defensive play of the night,” said Stampone. “He (Brandon) came out of nowhere to make the play. We had run that play in practice, and we didn’t have any room for error.

“It was an amazing win for us as we could have folded several times on the night.”

One of the key factors for the Kids during their run has been their heightened level of confidence. Stampone also has been appreciative of the fan support this season.

“We have raised our talent level, but I really see an increase in their confidence out there,” stressed Stampone. “I see it in everything they do out there.

“When we were at Beca, we had a huge crowd. I really think we outnumbered them. Our fan support has been great all season, and it is a big lift for us.”

Along with registering a district spot, the Kids also want to get into the East Penn Conference playoffs. They will have another challenging week ahead with rival Whitehall, Blue Mountain, and Liberty ahead this week.

“We hit our first goal in qualifying for districts,” said Stampone. “We are in a good position for leagues. We have another tough week ahead.

“We are playing well and have great chemistry. But we still have to take one game at a time.”