Some situations in sports – and life – you never forget.
It was many years ago when I first met Coy Stampone. He was a basketball coach in the Nazareth program under then head coach Charlie McGarvey, and we met as instructors at a summer basketball camp at the school.
At approximately 6-foot-4, Coy is an imposing figure with his height and solid stature. But you soon realize he is a genuine, frank individual with his great sense of humor. He is the type of person who will always do you a favor if he can.
Northampton’s boys basketball team achieved a major goal when it qualified for the upcoming district playoffs, and the Konkrete Kids will see a familiar opponent for the third time this season.
However, the Kids can take another major step with a district win this Saturday that will propel them into the PIAA state tournament, as the top four teams in the district 6A bracket will advance.
Northampton’s hockey team is in a fixed mood in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL).
Coming off a 10-3 win over Beca/ Central recently, the Konkrete Kids will maintain their fourth seed and likely spot in the upcoming LVSHL playoffs. The Kids are in a position to face top-seeded and undefeated Parkland in a single elimination game that would lead to a best-of-three championship round.
Yet, the Kids haven’t lived up to preseason expectations with a 6-8-0 record.
Northampton’s run in the East Penn Conference (EPC) ended quickly, but the Konkrete Kids are confident in their district hopes ahead.
The seventh-seeded Kids dropped a 64-48 contest to second-seeded Allentown Central Catholic in an opening–round game Monday night at Rockne Hall.
It was the rubber match between the two teams as Central won the opening match, 66-36, Dec. 19, and Northampton returned the favor, 60-45, Jan. 18.
Aidan Ellwood paced the Kids with 20 points, and Central had four players in double figures led by Dat Lambert’s 18 and Jordan McChristian’s 13.
When he was younger, Mike Torres admired his father, Michael Sr., who was a handyman around the house.
The experience eventually would lead the younger Torres to seek to explore a possible career in electrical engineering next fall.
“My father could fix anything and he would show me how to do things,” said Torres. “He never had me around anything electrical because he was worried about me getting hurt. But I always wanted to do something electrical.
“Seeing my dad do what he did inspired me to try and fix things and get into an electrical field someday.”
For the Northampton Konkrete Kids, the winning streak is over at 13 games.
However, it was just one component of a multifaceted season that has elevated the Kids’ status among their peers and the area basketball community.
The Kids dropped a 71-53 decision at Nazareth Feb. 2 that ended their streak. They edged Emmaus, 55-54, three days earlier.
“Winning 13 in a row isn’t too shabby,” said head coach Coy Stampone. “We have played well and have felt pretty good about ourselves.
Cory Weisenberger decided to take it upon himself.
When fellow senior Aidan Ellwood went down with an ankle injury before the first game of the season, Weisenberger knew he had to pick up his game. He also believed in the adage of “practice makes perfect.”
He did just that. Weisenberger scored 28 points in the Konkrete Kids’ hard-fought, 59-57, win over Muhlenberg and then followed with 12 in a balanced team effort win over East Stroudsburg North (48-28).
For Northampton’s basketball team, balanced scoring and defense has been the calling card throughout the season.
So it shouldn’t be a major surprise that the Konkrete Kids have taken the Lehigh Valley basketball scene by storm and also had won 12 consecutive games to begin the week.
“It’s been good,” offered head coach Coy Stampone about his team’s ride. “We just had four games in a week and it can be a bit much.
“Coming home on the bus from Blue Mountain (Saturday), we all felt tired.”
These are the times for the Northampton boys’ basketball team.
The Konkrete Kids began the week with an eight-game winning streak and they clinched a district playoff berth in the process.
And they are enjoying the moment with an 11-3 overall record.
“We’re playing great right now,” said head coach Coy Stampone, whose teams never own eight straight games over his six seasons. “It is also big for us to clinch a district spot this early.
The Konkrete Kids continue to firmly cement their season.
Northampton recently won their sixth straight game -- a 75-64 victory over rival and streaking Catasauqua – to improve their record to 9-3 overall and 4-3 in the East Penn Conference.
The Kids shrugged off consecutive losses to Nazareth and Central Catholic and quickly established themselves as one of the power in the EPC, inching closer to clinching a district berth and keeping themselves in line for the EPC playoffs.