Abington Heights (20-1, 12-0 Div. 1) clinched the Lackawanna League Division 1 championship with a 69-44 win over Scranton on Tuesday. Evan Maxwell led the Comets with 18 points while J.C. Show and Tim Toro each added 13 for Abington Heights.
Abington Heights 71, Honesdale 42
It’s not often that one play changes the course of a basketball game, but a bullet pass from J.C. Show resulting in a thunderous dunk from Evan Maxwell started a 11-0 run early in the second quarter and Abington Heights cruised to a 71-42 win in a Lackawanna League crossover game Feb. 7 in South Abington Twp.
The Comets trailed 17-16 at the end of the first quarter and the teams traded hoops to start the second before Maxwell’s slam turned the tide and ignited the crowd.
“He almost brought the basket down,” Show said. “That was definitely a big play, being able to get out and run and get an easy basket.”
Show also believed that a switch in defensive strategy helped change the momentum of the game.
“They did a great job in the first quarter,” he said. “(Kevin) Miller was feeling it, getting to the bucket and hitting some shots. We weren’t doing a good job of containing them in our zone, so coach (Ken) Bianchi made a good decision and we went man-to-man in the second quarter to try to turn up the pressure a little bit.”
Ethan Danzig, who finished with 13 points, hit two 3-pointers and Joe Carroll added another in the second quarter when the Comets outscored to Hornets 24-6 to take a 40-24 halftime lead.
Honesdale’s 6-foot-3 center Cole McConnell also picked up his third foul in the second and the Comets inside duo of Maxwell (6-10) and Tim Toro (6-7) combined to score 27 points, grab 17 rebounds, and block six shots in the game.
“It really hurt when our big man (McConnell), and I use that term loosely compared to Abington’s, picked up three fouls early, then we had nothing to match them inside,” Honesdale head coach Tim Wood said. “Also, to their credit, Carroll and Danzig started nailing outside shots.”
Maxwell scored six points during a 14-1 run during the third quarter that allowed to Comets to stretch their lead to 65-31 after three. He credited the presence of Toro for allowing him to have success.
“Having another big guy like Tim allows us to work high-low,” Maxwell said. “If I’m in the high post, I can dish it down to him and he also finds me. We just try to pound the ball inside to draw fouls and it works really well.”
Show, who lead four Comets in double figures with 19 points, also added seven assists and five rebounds.
“We’re learning how to play with each other as each game goes along,” he said. “We have a high ceiling, so if we can continue to stay humble and grounded we think we’re going to have a shot. We just need to continue to improve.”
Kevin Miller led Honesdale with 18 points and three steals and McConnell pulled down eight rebounds for the Hornets.