For Northampton’s basketball team, it was down to one.
The Konkrete Kids entered Rockne Hall Wednesday night, after Press deadlines, needing to defeat Allentown Central Catholic (ACC) to secure a district playoff spot for the second-consecutive season.
It was a tall order considering it was the Vikings’ senior night and they also are still in the shuffle for a top spot in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) playoffs. They earlier dropped a 59-39 decision to ACC Jan. 16, and the Vikings already have clinched a playoff berth.
For the Northampton boys’ basketball teams, the magic number is two.
The Konkrete Kids will need two wins in their final four games to qualify for the district playoffs for the second consecutive season.
They entered this week with an overall 9-9 mark and a 5-7 mark in the East Penn Conference.
Sounds somewhat easy, right?
For Noah Rindock, it was just a matter of confidence.
Since his freshman year, the senior guard in the Northampton boys’ basketball program has been a part of the varsity unit. However, Rindock soon discovered that he needed to intensify his game to improve his playing time.
Over the past year, Rindock began working with former basketball player Sammy Barona at the Northampton Rec Center, and it began to boost his confidence. Over the years, Barona has worked with several local athletes.
With two key wins under their belt, Northampton continues to gain momentum as they look to gain ground toward the postseason.
The Konkrete Kids recorded an emotional, 62-50, win at rival Whitehall, and they then followed with a comeback, 57-51, triumph over Freedom that lifted their overall record to 8-5 and gave them a 4-3 mark in the East Penn Conference (EPC). The wins also boosted their winning streak to four games.
Catasauqua head boys' basketball coach and tournament director Eric Snyder thought the recent version of the 26th annual Tournament of Champions final was one of the better ones in recent years.
He just isn't sure how many more may be on the horizon.
"We have three adult leagues left in the area (North Catasauqua, Catasauqua, and Stiles)," said Snyder. "It is not like it used to be for a number of reasons. We all would like to see more teams and players in the area."
Runners from across the Lehigh Valley participated in the Third Annual Emmaus Splash and Dash 5K July 22.
Forty-runners ran the 3.1-mile course that started at Emmaus Community Park, meandered through the streets of the town's south side, and finished at the park. After the early evening race that began at 6:30 p.m., runners could also cool off with an optional use of the community pool.
This summer, Lehigh Township's Junior Legion baseball team peaked at the right time.
Lehigh Township won a key late regular season game, and it served as momentum to carry them to the Lehigh Valley Jr Legion title.
As a result, Lehigh Township advanced to the Junior Legion Regional Tournament in Berks County. Their recent stay there was short, but their overall run proved to be a memorable one.
"It was a little bittersweet for us at the regional tournament," said manager Rod Christman. "But I told every one of them how proud we all are of what they had accomplished.
In terms of timing of an athletic high school path, Megan Wiest possibly had one of the smoothest throughways to success.
The Northampton High School field hockey standout recently ended her stellar career with several significant contributions into the program's record books. In turn, Wiest will begin another chapter of her career this fall when she will begin studies at Drexel University.
Despite all of the circumstances, Jeff Jackists is watching his team grow this summer.
The veteran Northampton girls' basketball coach has witnessed his team have a successful season in the Catasauqua Girls' Summer Basketball League and recently posted a respectable finish in the Stellar Basketball Tournament.
Lehigh Township manager Rod Christman hasn't been surprised by his club's performances in the Lehigh Valley Junior Legion this summer. In fact, his club is on a roll.
During the regular season, Lehigh Township finished with an overall 12-6 record. It was a club that played together in the past and had continued their surge.
"This season wasn't a surprise to us," said Christman. "We have a number of boys who have played together in the past. Most of them also played on the Northampton (High School) JV team this year.
"So, they are used to playing with each other."