Northampton Press

Friday, September 20, 2019

Boys basketball has another solid summer

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Last summer, Northampton made it to the final day of A-Town Throwdown tournament, losing to eventual champion Wilson West Lawn.

This summer, history repeated itself for the Konkrete Kids. They lost to eventual champion Reading on the final day.

However, Northampton sees a different winter ahead than the transition season from last year. The K-Kids should be in the hunt for the East Penn Conference and a possible deep district run with 11 senior-heavy returnees.

“We had a really good summer,” said veteran Northampton head coach Coy Stampone. “We played well in the tournament and we qualified for the (Cedar Beach) playoffs.

“We have had a really good chemistry with our guys this summer, and they have been coming as a solid group to the league and tournament games and workouts.

“It is a very encouraging sign.”

Stampone was pleased to play unfamiliar teams in the tournament. His team impressively knocked off Randolph (NJ) Constitution (Philadelphia-area) and Cedar Crest (Harrisburg) before they fell to perennial power Reading.

“Our roster was a little light on Sunday because of vacations but that’s not an excuse,” he said. “Reading was very good and deserved to win the tournament. They were athletic, long and played with high energy.

“I am glad we had the opportunity to play four good games facing four quality teams out of the area. It was a good tournament for us.”

Incoming senior Zack Gula consistently has been among the top scorers for the Kids all summer. Fellow senior Donte Rodriguez and sophomore Issac Harris also were consistent contributors.

“Zach (Gula) came out strong last year, and he has been a leader since then,” said Stampone. “He played very well during the summer and stepped up his game.

“Donte (Rodriguez) and Issac (Harris) also improved their game and played well. We still have a few things to work on, but we can go deep this year.”

Junior 6-5 Jon Altomore continues to develop in the middle and senior Spencer Cole is another scoring option.

“Jon (Altomore) is getting better and more confident,” added Stampone. “Spencer (Cole) also became a solid presence out there last year. Both of them will have big roles.”

Stampone also noted the efforts of junior Joe Kerbacher and senior Tyrese Brandon, both of whom will have significant roles this winter.

With plenty of promise ahead, Stampone soon will get the wheels back in motion soon.

“We don’t have Allen and Liberty on our schedule this year because of the rotation,” he said. “We did a lot of team building this summer and it should help. Aside from Allen, the league does have a lot of parody.

“We’ll take some time off, and then get right back at it.”