Kids don’t advance but take positive steps
Despite winning two of their three games, Northampton’s boys’ basketball team didn’t advance to the round of 16 in the recent A-town Throwdown at Allentown’s Cedar Beach. A point differential kept them out.
But the Konkrete Kids took another major step to establishing a new presence this winter with the loss of Aidan Ellwood and Cory Weisenberger.
“Overall, we played well,” said assistant coach Matt Scholl, who is in charge of the Kids summer program. “We’re working to establish our identity. We have had a number of guys who have scored for us.
“We lost two key scorers last year in Aidan (Ellwood) and Cory (Weisenberger).”
In their opener against defending state Class 6A champion Reading, the Kids couldn’t stop a second-half rush and eventually fell, 60-47.
“We led at halftime,” said Scholl. “It’s hard to play a team that you’re not comfortable with. But we did come out and play with a lot of confidence.
“Reading came out and took it to us in the second half.”
The Kids rebounded and posted a pair of wins over Palmerton (52-42) and North Hunterdon (45-41).
Against Palmerton, Spencer Cole led the Kids with 17 points, and Zach Gula had a team-high 22 against North Hunterdon.
“Spencer (Cole) and Zach (Gula) both played with a lot of confidence,” said Scholl. “Zach hit some big threes for us. Their energy levels really picked up the rest of the team.
“They both played some meaningful minutes for us last year.”
Although he didn’t play in the Throwdown tournament, incoming transfer Roy Ortega has played a pivotal role for the Kids all summer.
“He (Ortega) is a fun kid” said Scholl. “He has had an opportunity and has brought something. He is someone who will take the ball to the basket. Roy has the ability to take the ball to the hoop at any time.”
Scholl also cited the play of Tyrese Brandon, Donte Rodriguez, and incoming freshman Issac Harris, who has quickly adapted.
The Kids have two weeks left in Allentown Summer League regular season play and should be in the position for a playoff bid.
“These are great kids,” boasted Scholl. “They are always at it. We should be able to finish strong.”