By halftime of Northampton’s girls’ first round PIAA state playoff basketball game against Philadelphia Central High School, Kids’ coach Jeff Jacksits was stressing fundamentals and the importance of running through their plays.
Then Jacksits watched as Northampton increased its lead from 27 points to 37 points and posted a 63-26 victory over the Lancers last Friday at Freedom High School.
Aja Blount was the top scorer of the night with 19 points, followed by Jenna Rogers with 16 points, and Victoria Keenan with 11 points.
Disappointment was evident after Northampton’s 53-42 loss to Nazareth in the District 11 Class 6A girls’ basketball semifinal on Monday night at Catasauqua High School, yet hope remained for a chance to make the state tournament with a win in the consolation game on Thursday.
“I thought we would be where we are, one of the top four,” said Northampton coach Jeff Jacksits. “It’s a matter of nights, and what’s going on, and who has hot hands, and tonight, we didn’t.”
Salisbury High School center midfielder, Ethan Heydt, and Quakertown High School forward, Victoria Sturgess, were named 2016 Soccer Scholar Athletes at the Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet on Jan. 29 at Northampton Memorial Community Center in Northampton, Pa.
Heydt and Sturgess were among 76 nominees from 40 high schools throughout the area who were selected jointly by their coaches and the school administration. The Soccer Scholar Athlete Committee then selected the overall winners.
Northampton’s girls’ basketball team has five games left in the regular season before they travel the road to league and district playoffs, and Coach Jeff Jacksits wants the K-Kids to finish 5-0, although 4-1 would be satisfactory.
The Kids’ biggest challenges will come from Nazareth and Parkland. The latter game will take place on Northampton’s senior night.
Northampton High School’s varsity cheerleaders competed at the East Penn Conference Cheerleading Championships on Dec. 7 at Easton Area Middle School.
Although only the top two squads were awarded, the Konkrete Kids placed third out of 13 squads.
“We were really surprised and really excited,” said Northampton cheerleading captain, Madison Heffelfinger. “We found out the next day.”
The Konkrete Kids’ routine begins with a cheer, followed by a jump and tumble sequence, stunts, a dance, and ends with a pyramid.
Northampton High School’s varsity cheerleading coach Amy Pandolfo and her squad had less than 90 minutes to make numerous changes to their routine prior to the Easton Rover Rumble Competition, but emerged as champions in the large varsity division on Dec. 10 at Easton Area Middle School.
“I think most of us felt really good because of the circumstances,” said Northampton cheerleading captain, Mia Guadagnino.
One of Northampton’s cheerleaders became sick that morning, and with no alternates, the entire routine had to be changed.
Northampton High School’s girls’ basketball team is hoping to be at its best at the end of the season but will have to play its best to get to a league and district final.
With most of its players returning from last season and a good run this past summer, making it to the SportsFest final against Parkland, the Konkrete Kids are already playing better basketball after two scrimmages and will compete in the Owen J. Roberts tournament this weekend.
Aja Blount and Devon Saul are Northampton’s captains.
When Northampton Middle School eighth grader Kyleigh Straub decided to run cross country, she did it for the sake of her soccer game, but unexpected rewards came on the cross country course when Straub won every race, invite, and regular season meet over the last two years.
“I just decided to do it out of nowhere,” Straub said. “I honestly fell in love with it. I think it’s the individuality, that I can do it by myself, but I also have the support of my team.”
Straub remembers her first meet clearly. It was the 2015 Northampton Invitational.
Liberty senior, Raisa Kochmaruk, placed 11th and medaled at the PIAA State Class AAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Hershey.
“The state course is a really good course for Raisa,” said Liberty coach Mark Will-Weber. “It’s hilly and tough, but she feels confident on that course. It was a good, solid day for her to run 11th, and she showed that once she’s on, she’s as good as anyone in the district.”
Kochmaruk’s time was 18:50.
Northampton senior, Lyndsey Gallagher, will represent the Konkrete Kids at the PIAA State Cross Country Championships this weekend after placing 11th at the District XI Cross Country Championships last Wednesday at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
“I’m happy with my time and place,” Gallagher said. “I knew I got my spot to states. I’m looking to medal.”
Gallagher’s time was 20:01.12.