Coming off one of their deeper runs in some time, Northampton’s baseball program is anxious to begin the 2016 campaign.
The Konkrete Kids advanced to the PIAA Class 4A District semifinals last season, as they rode a midseason wave that carried them through the first and quarterfinal rounds of the district playoffs.
They blanked Bangor 5-0 in the opening round and then recorded a 3-1 win over Liberty. The Kids ended their 2015 campaign with a 4-2 loss to Parkland as they finished their year with a 15-9 overall mark.
Northampton’s boys’ basketball season didn’t have the anticipated ending, but it did culminate with some beginnings for the future.
The Konkrete Kids finished the 2015-16 campaign on a sour note as they dropped their regular season finale, 77-46, to Allentown Central Catholic in a contest that had postseason ramifications for both teams.
Northampton’s quest for a playoff spot is over.
The Konkrete Kids were seeking to avoid missing the postseason for the second consecutive season in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic League (LVSHL), but they needed to overcome a huge deficit to get there.
The Kids began the season with an 0-3-3 mark and they didn’t pick up their first win until they recorded a 7-1 win over Easton Nov. 23. It was the first of a much-needed three-game winning streak that put them in the playoff hunt.
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.