Simply put, Northampton’s hockey team can control its own destiny toward the postseason in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL).
The Konkrete Kids (6-4-3) began this week’s play tied with Allentown Central Catholic (15 points) in fourth place and also for the final playoff spot.
However, Central Catholic has one game left on it schedule, while the Kids have three.
“It is there for us,” said Kids’ veteran head coach Brian Ruff. “We play three teams that are below us in the standings. We have to pick up points.”
Throughout her athletic career, Jenna Rogers always has appreciated the moment. In her senior season, she is cherishing it even more.
Rogers has plenty of reasons to enjoy it. She and her teammates literally have soared off to a fast 9-2 start and are sitting atop the East Penn Conference (EPC).
Relying on their explosive fast-break offense, the K-Kids convincingly beat East Stroudsburg South, 66-31, Jan. 3 and followed with a lopsided, 92-67 triumph over previously unbeaten Pleasant Valley Jan. 5.
It’s the one element that has plagued Northampton’s boys’ basketball team this winter.
The Konkrete Kids have a new identity this season, as they have had a number of players step into the spotlight every game.
They recently captured the Salisbury Holiday Tournament for the third consecutive season, a springboard for them the previous two seasons. Last year, the Kids embarked on a 11-game winning streak from the tournament, and it helped them get to a district final for the first time in 45 years.
Victoria Keenan is usually straight to the point.
When asked what she does to get away from basketball, the Northampton senior guard doesn’t mince her words.
“Nothing,” said Keenan. “I guess I am pretty boring.”
On the court, however, Keenan surely isn’t humdrum.
Over the past two years, Zach Gula played his part into transforming Northampton into one of the better programs around in the East Penn Conference and the Lehigh Valley.
This season, Gula knew he would play a bigger role, and he has made a smooth transition.
The junior guard has been one of the team’s leading scorers this season, as the Konkrete Kids continue to adjust to their new identity after a momentous season last year.
“We’re just playing hard,” said Gula. “We sometimes struggle to score at times, but we have had different people step up for us.
Northampton’s boys’ and girls’ teams already may reschedule their recent holiday tournaments at Salisbury for next season.
They both won their respective tournaments in a dominating fashion.
The boys’ team won the tournament for the third consecutive season, beating Saucon Valley, 56-31, and Quakertown, 47-32. The girls beat Allen, 62-48, and then routed Pocono Mountain West, 54-24.
Donte Rodriguez, who had 15 points in the championship game, was the tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Zach Gula was named to the All-Tournament team.
Win big. Breathe easier. Set a strong pace.
Northampton’s girls’ team is off and running.
After they lost to host Owen J. Roberts in their championship game, Northampton opened its East Penn Conference (EPC) schedule with three lopsided, 20-point-plus wins over Whitehall, Emmaus, and Pocono Mountain East.
The Kids have been pushing the ball and producing plenty of positives, racing out to a 4-1 start.
The big three is back, and the Konkrete Kids likely will be back in the hunt.
Senior guard Victoria Keenan, who broke the 1,000-point career barrier last season, again will be joined by fellow senior post player Jenna Rogers and sophomore guard/forward Morgan Sterner to lead the Kids this winter.
Northampton finished with an overall 15-9 mark last season, their season ending with a loss to Freedom in the Class 6A quarterfinal.
Northampton head girls’ basketball coach Jeff Jacksits could appreciate some of the physical play from host Owen J. Roberts in their tournament last weekend.
The Konkrete Kids knocked off Cheltenham, 55-29, in the opener, and then suffered a 46-38 defeat to Owen J. Roberts in the championship game.
Jacksits expects to see more of the same when the Kids open East Penn Conference play this week.
“We’ll see that from Central Catholic, Nazareth and Parkland and others,” said Jacksits. “They like to push and shove.
For the first time in a while, Northampton’s boys’ basketball team found its niche last season. They also discovered how timing can be everything.
The Konkrete Kids posted an overall 18-9 mark and advanced to the District 11 Class 6A championship game. Paced by seniors Aidan Elwood, Corey Weisenberger, and Mike Torres, the Kids reached beyond an anticipated level.
Now they need to maintain their status without the trio that accounted for 75-percent of their offense. Elwood and Weisenberger accounted for nearly 38 points per game.