Potential will be a key word for the Northampton boys’ basketball program in the 2019-20 season.
Having 14 players returning and losing only two can generate plenty of optimism.
The Konkrete Kids got a good glimpse of their future this season with a maturing team that found its way back to the districts playoffs after they lost three players who accounted for 75-percent of their offense last year.
Northampton recently ended its season with a 56-43 loss to Parkland in the opening round of the Class 6A district playoffs, leaving them with an overall 12-10 record.
Northampton’s girls’ basketball team recently hit the state playoff behind a 24-4 record, one of the best in school history.
They employed their high-octane offense to gain control over Methacton and never relinquished in a 55-48 victory in the opening round of the state playoffs.
Whatever the final reason may be, Northampton peaked at the right time.
The Konkrete Kids has a postseason flurry that saw them beat undefeated Freedom in the opening round before they lost to nine-time defending champion Parkland in three games in the finals of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) playoffs.
Initially, it wasn’t that promising.
In regards to his team’s accomplishments in the postseason, Northampton head girls’ basketball coach Jeff Jacksits doesn’t get caught up in the numbers.
After 15 years, he knows it’s often difficult to compare one team against another.
But Jacksits realizes his current squad has the ability to make its mark in the upcoming PIAA state tournament that begins this weekend with the Konkrete Kids meeting Methacton, the 11th seed from District 1, Friday night at Freedom High School.
On their driveway on any typical summer night, Tyler and Kylie Gilliard have played plenty of basketball together.
This season, the family members got to share a successful season on the court on the varsity level, too.
Tyler, a senior, recently finished a four-year career with the boys basketball team, while Kylie, a freshman, continues to keep a memorable season alive. Both have been starters for the Kids’ respective teams this winter.
Through it all, though, the bond between doesn’t figure to be broke anytime soon.
Northampton’s boys’ basketball district playoff game couldn’t have come any sooner.
The tenth-seeded Konkrete Kids (12-10) traveled to seventh-seeded Parkland (13-9) in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 6A playoffs Tuesday. The winner will meet second–seeded Nazareth Saturday at Allen in the next round.
It proved to be an anxious two-week period since the Kids last saw action. They did manage a scrimmage against Palmerton in the process.
In the end, Northampton wasn’t supposed to be there.
Yet, the Kids haven’t exactly followed the script.
Despite having a better overall record, the Konkrete Kids didn’t gain as much respect of the two-time East Penn Conference Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks.
They generally weren’t mentioned in the same breath as Becahi, Notre Dame, and Southern Lehigh when speaking about elite programs in the Lehigh Valley, or at least at the tail end of the reference.
However, the Kids are in the same 20-plus win (21-4) as their counterparts.
In the near future, Gabby Demchak has aspirations of being a math teacher and a basketball coach.
It is a part of her persona about educating and helping others along her way to playing a role for the common good.
In the present, Demchak is doing her part to make Northampton’s girls’ basketball season a memorable one.
The Konkrete Kids began the week in the middle of battling for an EPC title before districts start.
For the Northampton girls’ basketball team, these are the days of the battle of attrition.
All season long, the Konkrete Kids have played like a team on a mission, hitting only a few potholes along the way.
However, head coach Jeff Jacksits knows all too well how playing East Penn Conference (EPC) rivals late in the season and also playing in the EPC tournament easily can derail momentum.
One to go.
That’s the number of wins Northampton’s boys’ basketball team needed to begin the week for a return trip to districts. The Konkrete Kids certainly didn’t have an easy road in the final weeks to achieve the mark.
The Kids (10-8) began this week with their final home game against Whitehall Tuesday and then Nazareth Friday before they finish at Parkland next Monday and Allentown Central Catholic next Wednesday.