SCRANTON — J.C. Show became the leading scorer in Abington Heights history during the Comets 68-36 win over Lake-Lehman in a District 2 Class AAA quarterfinal Friday night at Scranton Prep’s Xavier Center.
But, head coach Ken Bianchi believes another aspect of Show’s game is even more important than his scoring touch.
“He’s a born leader,” Bianchi said. “If you see him before the game, the sweat is just dripping off of him. I’ve had one or two coaches, especially in the state tournament, see that and say, ‘We knew we were in trouble.’
“When one of your captains is playing hard like that, it’s contagious. His leadership is the most important thing to our team.”
Show, who finished with a game-high 23 points, broke David Doino’s school record of 1,847 points on a free throw with 5:45 left in the first quarter.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Show said. “I’m just thankful to have been able to do it with the teammates and coaches I’ve had.”
Abington Heights led 17-9 at the end of the first quarter and after Lake-Lehman cut the lead to six points, the Comets outscored the Black Knights 15-3 over the final five minutes of the second quarter to lead 40-22 at the half.
“We did a good job of pushing the ball at the end of the second quarter,” Show said. “When we’re able to run in transition, that’s when we’re at our best.”
Lake-Lehman (12-12) made a push to begin the second half by scoring six of the first eight points, but Abington Heights responded by scoring the next 11 to regain control of the game.
Abington Heights center Evan Maxwell, who missed most of the second quarter due to foul trouble, scored eight of his 15 points in the second half.
“It was really tough,” Maxwell said of sitting on the bench. “It was hard to get going in the second half. We just had to work hard on defense, and then the offense comes after.”
The Comets tough man-to-man defense held the Black Knights to just 14 points in the final two quarters.
“We thought, and we were right, that they were going to try to slow it down a little bit (on offense),” Bianchi said. “We wanted to pressure and not give them that chance, but they got a couple back-door (baskets) on us. We straightened things out a little bit in the second half and played much better.”
Lake-Lehman center Pete Borum scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds before fouling out with 2:57 left in the game.
Abington Heights (23-1) will play Honesdale (21-3) in the semifinals Tuesday at the Lackawanna College Student Union.