ARCHBALD – A talented class of players put on an impressive show through 40 minutes and more in the Lackawanna League Boys Basketball All-Star Game Monday night at Valley View High School.
The league’s best team and best player finally decided matters in the final moments .
J.C. Show’s three-point play with four seconds left in overtime lifted the Blue team to a 115-114 victory over the Red team in an entertaining contest that raised the annual all-star game to a new level competitively.
“We were just saying ‘let’s keep it close for three quarters, then we’ll try to win it,’ which I guess is how it went down,” Show said. “We got an extra three minutes out of it, which was cool.”
The Abington Heights guard and Bucknell University recruit had been unable to connect on a moving 3-point attempt at the buzzer after the Blue team held for the last shot of regulation with the game tied. This year’s Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year converted on his second chance, driving through two defenders to make the basket that erased a two-point deficit and drawing the foul that allowed him to score the winning point.
Show took home the Blue team’s Most Valuable Player award, as voted on by the Red players, but he had plenty of help from his Comets teammates.
Abington Heights went unbeaten in the Lackawanna League’s highest division and posted its best overall record at 26-2 while also winning the District 2 Class AAA title and reaching the second round of state play.
Evan Maxwell and Ethan Danzig, two other players prominent in that success, played large roles in the all-star game win.
Show led the team with 19 points and five assists. Maxwell threw down eight dunks while adding 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Danzig, who made it to the final four of the pregame 3-Point Shooting Contest, added eight points, while ranking second with nine rebounds and leading the Blue team with three steals.
Abington Heights players were the Blue team’s top two scorers, top two rebounders and its assist and steal leaders.
Maxwell helped offset a fast start by the Red team with three dunks in the first quarter, one in a single motion off an offensive rebound to open the Blue scoring and the other two off alley-oops from Show and Carbondale’s Isaiah McCord.
There were just three occasions in the game where either team moved in front by more than six points.
The Red team took the game’s biggest lead, 41-31, with 6:26 left in the half.
The Abington Heights combination produced 16 of the points to lead the Blue to a 22-9 advantage over the next 4:40.
After Maxwell, a 6-foot-10 Liberty University recruit, dunked off a rebound, Show hit two straight 3-pointers for eight straight points in 42 seconds to cut the Red team’s lead to 41-39.
The Red team managed to remain in front until consecutive 3-pointers by Danzig, one for the tie and the next for the lead with 1:46 left in the half.
Connor Jones of Holy Cross won the 3-Point Shooting Contest, and was later named the Red team’s MVP with a game-high 26 points, and 10 rebounds. His fifth 3-pointer put the Red team up, 98-94, before the Blue team produced the game’s longest streak.
Show had seven points and an assist, scoring to start and end an 11-point streak to the Blue’s largest lead, 105-98, with 1:39 remaining.
“We were just trying to have fun, but when it got to the fourth quarter, the close game picked up the intensity a little bit,” Show said. “We were trying to play to win and it’s more fun that way.”
After rallying to force overtime on a lay-up by Elk Lake’s Tanner Reyan with 23 seconds left, the Red continued on what became a 16-2 run to a 114-107 lead with 37 seconds left in overtime.
Valley View’s Mike Rotell scored five straight to set up Show to create the last of the game’s 16 ties and the free throw that followed for the last of 20 lead changes.