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Boys extend streak

After starting the year 2-6, the Northampton boys basketball team has regrouped.

They extended their season-long winning streak to 4 games with a 61-42 victory over Nazareth Tuesday night to even their record at 7-7. The K-Kids scored the first 5 points of the game and never trailed.

Head coach Matt Scholl explained the turnaround, “Christmas Break was good for us. We got to implement some of the things we wanted to do in years past. We were just a little bit behind at the beginning of the year. We’re putting the ball in the basket, which helps. We’re finally scoring in the 60s when we were struggling to get to 40 earlier.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is the Kids’ tenacious defense. They held the Blue Eagles to 4 first quarter points on 1 for 10 shooting from the floor. Nazareth did not register their first point until the 2:12 mark of the period. Northampton hit a couple of threes on the way to doubling up the Eagles for an 8-4 lead after one.

A 7-point run to start the second quarter sparked a 22-point outburst that saw the lead expand to 30-16 at the halftime break. Northampton was 7 of 9 from the field including 4 of 5 from behind the arc in the period.

Nazareth came out in the second half and went exclusively to a full-court press for the final 16 minutes. It disrupted the Kids’ offensive rhythm, creating 4 turnovers in the third period. However, when the horn sounded at the end of the quarter, the margin was still 14 points, 41-27.

The Blue Eagles got the lead down to 10, the smallest gap in the second half, at 50-40 with 3:21 to play, but the K-Kids promptly reeled off the next 11 points to put the game on ice.

Tristen Pinnock led all scorers with 16 points and pulled down 7 rebounds to boot. He offered his observations on the Kids’ recent success, “Our confidence level has been up. We’re playing basketball the way we know how, starting to loosen up a bit and getting more comfortable in these situations where we have to end the game. We’ve been grinding in practice and the result is here.”

J.J. Kolumber chipped in 14 points on an efficient 5 of 7 shooting night. Tyler Kauffman knocked down 3 treys for 9 points. Brody Graff and Parker Christman each tallied 6 points with Christman grabbing 7 boards. Shakim Dunbar added 4 points. Sam Koplin, Trent Moyer, and Anthony Roman all had 2 points.

The Kids’ next home game is Friday against Allen. The Canaries sit one spot above Northampton in the District 6A with an 8-7 record for the season. It is also the Kids vs Cancer game for the boys with fundraisers to benefit the American Cancer Society.