Abington Heights began the game on a 7-0 run and held off a third quarter surge from Valley View for a 43-35 win over the Lady Cougars in a Lackawanna League Division 1 contest Monday, Jan. 27 at Valley View High School in Archbald.
Breanna Toro, who led the Lady Comets with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and eight blocks, scored the first five points of the game for Abington Heights. Griffin Jones, who led Valley View with nine points and 13 rebounds, scored four points in the quarter.
Emma Henzes, who contributed seven points and three steals for the Lady Comets off the bench, scored five in the second quarter to help lead Abington Heights to a 23-16 halftime lead.
“She came off the bench and did a great job for us,” Abington Heights head coach Vince Bucciarelli said of Henzes. “They were playing aggressive man-to-man defense, so I felt we needed some quicker guards in the game.”
Valley View (4-12, 1-7 Div. 1) started the second half on a 10-3 run and outscored the Lady Comets 13-6 in the third quarter to tie the game at 29. Blayse Cholish started the quarter with a 3-pointer and Jordan Seprosky scored five of her seven points during the third.
Valley View also forced nine steals in the second and third quarters to pull even in the game.
“They are very aggressive and they never quit,” Bucciarelli said of the Lady Cougars. ” I told the girls, ‘the Valley View kids are tough, so you better be ready.’”
Abington Heights (10-7, 6-2 Div. 1) regained the momentum early in the fourth quarter. Their defensive pressure created five turnovers and sparked a 9-0 run to give the Lady Comets a 38-29 lead with 4:41 left in the game.
Lady Comets leading scorer Catie Nealon, who was held to three points in the first three quarters, hit a key 3-pointer to cap the run. Nealon finished the game with six points, five assists, and four steals.
“The press helped us get some turnovers and Catie made a shot that sparked us a little bit,” Bucciarelli said.
Abington Heights missed 14 of 23 free throws, but Nicole Getz converted six of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“You’re not going to beat (many) teams when you miss 14 foul shots,” Bucciarelli said, “so we’re lucky to get out of here with a win. I give Valley View a lot of credit, they played hard.”