Northampton Press

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Boys hoop team feels good about spot they’re in

Thursday, February 1, 2018 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

For Northampton’s basketball team, balanced scoring and defense has been the calling card throughout the season.

So it shouldn’t be a major surprise that the Konkrete Kids have taken the Lehigh Valley basketball scene by storm and also had won 12 consecutive games to begin the week.

“It’s been good,” offered head coach Coy Stampone about his team’s ride. “We just had four games in a week and it can be a bit much.

“Coming home on the bus from Blue Mountain (Saturday), we all felt tired.”

Still, the Kids have been able to execute their strengths. In their four wins the previous week, they held Whitehall to 37 points, Liberty to 38, Blue Mountain to 40, and won an 81-75 track meet against Allen.

“Defensively, things have worked out for us,” added Stampone. “If we can play defense and box out, we can get our transition game going. We’re executing and we are able to hold down teams.”

Stampone knew the Allen game would be a challenge.

“It is up and down the court against them,” said Stampone. “They (Allen) make you play that way. They do a good job at keeping the tempo, and make you take shots you don’t necessarily want to take.

“But we have been able to play through all different types of offenses and defenses.”

The Kids continue to be paced by leading scorer senior Aidan Elwood along with fellow senior Cory Weisenberger, who has developed into another major threat. However, the key has been the complimentary scoring from Mike Torres. Zach Gula, Spencer Cole, and Dante Rodriguez and other on any given night.

“When Aiden (Elwood) went down with an injury at the beginning of the year, it turned out to be a silver lining for us,” said Stampone. “Everyone had to step up, and they did. You can see how their confidence grew.

“They have surprised me every night. We have someone different stepping up each night.”

Stampone sees another big final two weeks of the regular season ahead for the Kids, beginning with Emmaus Tuesday followed by Nazareth (Friday), Pocono Mountain (Feb. 5) and Parkland (Feb. 7).

The Kids (15-3) are currently buoying between the fourth and fifth spot in the East Penn Conference (EPC) playoff bracket and also second in the PIAA District 11 Class 6A power rankings.

Stampone is optimistic his team can be one of the eight teams in the EPC playoffs, hoping to be one of the top four and host a playoff game.

“Our main goal was to get to districts and then to the league playoffs,” he said. “Even if we win out, we’re still not assured of anything. We want to play in the down weeks before districts start to stay fresh.

“Our kids are aware of our streak, and they just have to maintain what they have done so far.”