Northampton Press

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Contributed photoThe Northampton boys defended their title from last season. Contributed photoThe Northampton boys defended their title from last season.
Press photo by Nancy ScholzThe Northampton girls also won their tournament at Salisbury last week. Press photo by Nancy ScholzThe Northampton girls also won their tournament at Salisbury last week.

Boys, girls sweep Salisbury tourneys

Monday, January 7, 2019 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Northampton’s boys’ and girls’ teams already may reschedule their recent holiday tournaments at Salisbury for next season.

They both won their respective tournaments in a dominating fashion.

The boys’ team won the tournament for the third consecutive season, beating Saucon Valley, 56-31, and Quakertown, 47-32. The girls beat Allen, 62-48, and then routed Pocono Mountain West, 54-24.

Donte Rodriguez, who had 15 points in the championship game, was the tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Zach Gula was named to the All-Tournament team.

Boys’ head coach Coy Stampone particularly was impressed with his team’s defensive showing.

“I thought defensively we played extremely well,” said Stampone. “We were able to hold both teams under 40, and Quakertown score 80 points in their first game.

“Donte (Rodriguez) was a big key for us and he did a great job in our matchup. We struggled the first half shooting the ball, but then we came around.”

Stampone appreciates the balanced scoring from his eight-to-nine-man rotation.

“We have someone stepping up every game,” he said. “But we are still trying to find the right combinations and we have been patient. It is a learning process for us.”

He is optimistic the K-Kids (5-3) can receive another jump start from winning the tournament. The Kids won 11 straight games after the tournament last season.

They traveled to East Stroudsburg South – who ended their season in the district final last year -- Thursday and then will host Pleasant Valley Saturday.

“This is where we got started last year,” said Stampone. “But this is a different team. We are getting into the grind of our schedule and our goal remains to get to districts.”

The girls’ team (7-2) entered the tournament off a loss to Nazareth after winning their previous four games. They fought through a physical game with Allen before they cruised to a win over Pocono Mountain West.

Victoria Keenan was named the tournament’s MVP, scoring 29 against Allen and 16 against Pocono Mountain West. Jenna Rogers and Morgan Sterner were named to the All-Tournament team.

Against Allen, the Kids sank 24 of their 27 free throws. Keenan was 13-for-13 from the line.

“We remember Allen from the summer and knew how tough they could be,” said girls’ head coach Jeff Jacksits. “They pose a different type of problem.

“They threw a lot of different junk defenses at us and tried to take away Victoria (Keenan) and Jenna (Rogers), but that didn’t work. Morgan (Sterner) also stepped up for us.

“When we get Victoria, Jenna, and Morgan all in double figures, we are in good shape.”

The Kids also received another solid effort from Gabby Demchak, Kylie Gilliard, and Taylor Kranzley, all of whom continue to be significant role players.

“They all are in the flow or our offense and have played well defensively,” added Jacksits. “They are in their roles and have been doing their jobs. They have been a big part of our season.”

Jacksits sees another litmus test ahead when his team travels to Pleasant Valley Saturday and then will host Freedom next Tuesday. They began the week when they hosted East Stroudsburg South Thursday.

“Pleasant Valley is probably the best team in the other division,” said Jacksits. “We then get Freedom, who is very good.

“Next week will be a good test for us.”