Northampton Press

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Girls knock off Pates

Friday, January 11, 2019 by tj wenborg Special to the Press in Sports

On Tuesday night at Pete Schneider Gymnasium, the Konkrete Kids girls basketball team looked to follow up their 92-67 thrashing of a previously undefeated Pleasant Valley squad with a win over a two-loss, defending District 11 champion Freedom team.

The Northampton fans held their collective breath as a last-second Freedom heave was off target, preserving a hard-fought, 58-57 win.

The Kids had a tough first quarter, going just 3-for-13 from the field and getting badly out-rebounded on the defensive end. The Patriots took advantage of the second shot opportunities to seize a 16-11 lead after the period.

The Kids found their shooting touch in the second quarter, making 8-of-13 field goal attempts. Victoria Keenan knocked down a three-pointer with 2 seconds left in the half to cut the Freedom lead to a single point at 30-29.

A Gabby Demchak basket with 3:50 left in the third period gave Northampton it first lead since the score was 9-7 in the first quarter. The teams scored 6 points apiece in the final stretch of the third and the Kids took a 42-40 lead into the final stanza.

The Patriots scored the first 6 points of the final period to retake the lead. Northampton scored the next 5, culminating with a Keenan and-one, to go back on top with 5:22 left in the game. The game went back and forth with neither team able to extend the lead beyond 2 points. After Freedom hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 54-54 with 56 seconds left, head coach Jeff Jacksits called a timeout to plan the endgame.

A flurry of Freedom fouls put the Kids into the bonus and freshman Kylie Gilliard on the free throw line with 35 seconds left, shooting a 1-and-1. Gilliard’s only two shots of the game put Northampton on top. Keenan added another pair of free throws with 20 seconds remaining, which was enough to withstand a Patriot 3 with 6 seconds left.

Keenan led the Kids with an efficient 25 points on 4-for-7 from three, 5-for-7 from two, and 3-for-3 from the line. Jenna Rogers added 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Morgan Sterner chipped in 8 points and 9 rebounds.

Jacksits was happy that his team was able to get a win when they were having an off night.

“Freedom is well-coached and they’re quick,” he said. “Our girls were flat-footed in the first half. I think they out-rebounded us by a ton. I was proud that the girls had a great resolve in the second half and fought through it.”

The win puts Northampton at 10-2 on the season and at the top of the District 11 6A power rankings. Next up for the Kids is a Friday night game at Dieruff (2-9), followed by a home Saturday matinee at the Middle School against East Stroudsburg North (4-6).

A trip to Easton (6-5) on Tuesday precedes the final stretch of the season which consists of 6 games against Skyline Division foes.