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K-Kid girls hoop team gets by WHS

The Northampton and Whitehall girls basketball teams met last Friday for the first of their two scheduled matchups in 2023. The Zephyrs were up 18-12 at the half, but the K-Kids came back after intermission and pulled away to win 46-35.

Northampton head coach Jeff Jacksits described the game.

“It was like a tale of two halves,” he said. “I think that first half was our low for the season. We had a couple of shots in the first half that rattled in and out. We switched from zone to man to see if we could scramble around and get some easy baskets and it worked out. Give Whitehall credit, they played hard and were right there through three quarters.”

Both teams struggled offensively in the first 8 minutes as they combined to shoot 4 of 21 from the floor on the way to a 5-5 stalemate.

The Zephyrs took a lead early in the second quarter and held a 10-8 advantage with 1:30 left in the first half. After having trouble to put the ball in the basket for the first 14:30 of the game, the teams collectively made their last 5 shots of the half. Whitehall nailed a pair of threes in the final 30 seconds, the first by Morgan Dunbar and the second by Bella Fonzone just before the buzzer to put the Zephs up 6 at the break.

The K-Kids’ comeback started on the first possession of the third quarter. Nicole Yellen, who had been held scoreless in the first half, drained a trey to cut the Whitehall lead in half. The Zephs managed to hold onto the lead for almost the entire quarter until Maddie Hurst hit a three to tie the game at 27 going into the final period.

Northampton got off to a hot start beyond the arc in the fourth quarter. Grace Lesko connected twice from deep and Anne Beenders added another to help the Kids go up 40-30 with 3:40 left in the game. Whitehall only made one shot from the floor over the final minutes and that came with just 31 seconds to go until the final buzzer.

Lesko led all scorers with 23 points, including 10 of the Kids’ 12 first half points. Yellen scored 9. Beenders, Hurst, and Jenna Raysely all had 3. Kylie Eberts and Kadee Schrader both hit a pair of free throws and Kaylee Christman added one of her own.

Dunbar paced Whitehall with 11 points. Fonzone added 8. Ciara Rogers scored 6. Nya Brown had 5. Jade Alvarez notched 4 and Charlotte Bynoe added 1.

The win boosted Northampton’s record to 8-6 overall, 4-5 in the EPC. The Zephs fell to 4-10 overall and 3-6 in the EPC.