After getting four wins in the opening part of the season, Northampton's boys' basketball team will look to continue to climb the ladder toward the postseason.
Along with registering some wins, the Kids will strive to further enhance their new growing reputation from a pretender to a contender in the East Penn Conference.
The K-Kids raised their record at 5-4 with a 45-34 win over Lincoln Leadership in the consolation final after they dropped a 64-50 decision to Quakertown in the opening round of the Salisbury Holiday Basketball Tournament last weekend.
Northampton head hockey coach Brian Ruff is optimistic his team can avoid an act that hasn't happened in the past 14 years – missing the playoffs in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL).
The Konkrete Kids began this week's play in fifth-place in the LVSHL one-division league in which the top four teams will make the postseason. Despite being within striking distance of the mark, Ruff has been discouraged with his team's recent 0-4-1 mark in their past five games after they had a 5-0 start.
They began this week with a 6-5-1 record and in fifth place.
Over the years, Cory Croll and his senior teammates have experienced their share of success in the Northampton hockey program in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL). Lately though, the Kids have been on the other side.
With their 11-2 loss to Parkland last Friday night, the Kids remained winless in four games (0-3-1). They have been in a freefall after a 5-0 start and now are in a battle for a playoff spot.
The Kids will begin the week with an overall 6-4-1 mark, behind Parkland and Phillipsburg.
Megan Wiest explored a number of options to extend her field hockey career in college.
She looked at programs both within the vicinity of her Northampton-area home as well as those around the greater Delaware Valley and beyond.
But when she visited Drexel her junior year, Wiest realized her search wouldn't extend in her current senior year as a Konkrete Kid.
Wiest also made her selection due to the recruitment efforts of former Bangor High School and Drexel standout and current assistant coach Susan Ciufo.
Two years ago, Garrett Oplinger realized the Northampton boys' basketball program needed some time to mature along the way.
Now, as a senior, Oplinger is watching the program come full circle, and he continues to be a key contributor.
Oplinger has been his team's leading scorer throughout the season and he poured in a game-high 22 points in a recent 64-46 victory over arch-rival Catasauqua. The victory was the K-Kids fourth of the season, and it was one less than their combined victories over the past two seasons.
For the first time in his three years at the helm, Northampton head boys' basketball coach Coy Stampone and his squad can enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The Konkrete Kids began the week with an overall 2-1 record and have shown signs of taking their game to the next level.
After they suffered a narrow 69-66 defeat to highly touted Pocono Mountain West, the Kids battled and rallied for a 52-48 victory over district semifinalist Blue Mountain a little over 12 hours later.
Northampton head boys' basketball coach Coy Stampone is optimistic that familiarity on both the small and large scale can be a difference in his club's season this winter.
Beginning his third year at the helm, Stampone is confident his club can continue to gain respect and perspective in the new and realigned East Penn Conference.
"We played a lot of basketball during the summer," said Stampone, whose club won three games last season. "We played in a number of leagues and tournaments. Our guys gained a lot of experience and they played well together.
When the Roughies take the field for their annual showdown against Northampton Thanksgiving morning, it might be safe to say that there will be a different team that took the field several weeks ago.
Back then, the Roughies had an influx of several new and first-year players in starting spots, as their starting lineup was riddled with injuries.
Now, the Roughies will field a lineup in which they began the season having many starters returning from injuries in time for their 92nd annual meeting with the Konkrete Kids.
During any other season, Northampton head hockey coach Brian Ruff might welcome a two-week layoff.
But this season's respite didn't exactly fall on an appropriate period. Ruff's team is off to a fast start in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League. The Konkrete Kids began this week's play with an unblemished 5-0 record and tied with Parkland (5-0) atop the league standings. They haven't played since they blitzed Liberty, 9-1, Nov. 3.
Sitting atop the standings of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) over the past few weeks, Northampton apparently has shaken off all the rust from an uncharacteristic 2013-14 season in which they finished with an overall 6-7-2 record.
The perennial champions have regained their winning ways as they were undefeated in the first five games of the season and likely will be a contender for the LVSHL crown this winter.