With less than a month left in the regular season, the Men’s Basketball team at NCC is ranked seventh in the NJCAA and striding towards another Region XIX Playoff Appearance.
The team is off to a 15-2 start to their 2019-20 season and is 8-1 against the Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (EPAC). The team is looking to improve on their 21-9 record from a season ago, but their focus stays on daily improvement.
“The expectations don’t really change,” Coach Brennan McCarthy said. “Our expectation is to compete and get better every day.”
McCarthy is in his sixth season at Northampton and has taken the team to the Region XIX Playoffs the last four years. He won the inaugural EPAC Postseason Championship Tournament. Under McCarthy, the team has won 102 games, the second-most under a coach in team history.
For the team, hard work on and off the court is key to their success. “We have a group of young men who want to be here,” McCarthy said. “They put in the effort in the classroom as well as on the court.”
The sophomores on the team have taken a strong leadership role and have helped the freshmen on the team mature. One of the sophomores to return this season is guard Tony James, who was named the All-EPAC second team a year ago.
James along with fellow sophomores Michael Jackson and Raylil Law-Winton have played in each game so far this season, helping lead the Spartans to an average of 89.5 points per game.
Much like many sports teams, the fans have played a big part in the team’s success and the student body at Northampton has come out in masses to support the team throughout the season.
“In our region, I think we have one of the biggest home-court advantages, just because of the fans,” McCarthy said. “It’s nice to be in the gym at 6 in the morning and have people come up to me and ask if we won the night before.”
The Spartans look to finish the season strong before heading to the EPAC Championship Tournament on Feb. 15-16, and the Region XIX Playoffs beginning on Feb. 22.