Kids set to play Nazareth - again
For the Northampton girls’ basketball team, these are the days of the battle of attrition.
All season long, the Konkrete Kids have played like a team on a mission, hitting only a few potholes along the way.
However, head coach Jeff Jacksits knows all too well how playing East Penn Conference (EPC) rivals late in the season and also playing in the EPC tournament easily can derail momentum.
The Kids (20-3) had little trouble with Allentown Central Catholic, 53-36, in the opening round of the EPC, and they had the third meeting with Nazareth Thursday evening in the semifinal round at Easton Middle School. They had defeated Central Catholic, 55-44, in their season finale two days earlier.
Northampton lost to Nazareth, 59-50, Dec. 21, and then outlasted them in 58-57 in a double-overtime classic Feb. 1.
“I told our kids that we could end up playing Nazareth three, four or five times this year,” said Kids’ head coach Jeff Jacksits, whose team and Nazareth are both in the Class 6A bracket. “We went to a triangle-and-two (defense) this time around against Central and it worked well.
“The kids knew what they had to do, and they played well.”
The Kids earlier dropped a 53-34 decision on their senior night to Parkland, anticlimactic to senior Jenna Rogers scoring her 1,000th career point. Rogers needed four points to reach the mark and netted that amount in an off-night for her and the team.
It proved to be a wake-up call.
“We didn’t shoot well (against Parkland) and they had a lot of big girls under the basket,” said Jacksits. “Parkland also didn’t seem to miss. When one of their big girls swished a shot from the foul line, I knew we were in trouble.
“But a loss like that was good. We were getting a little complacent, and we knew we had to work harder.”
Jacksits also is aware that there are little surprises from playing familiar teams down the stretch and in the postseason.
“There are no secrets,” he said. “It’s all about executing and being able to run and control the boards.
“We just have to be able to go out and play our game.”