First Posted: 3/14/2012
SCRANTON- Led by a balanced offensive attack, Abington Heights defeated Upper Darby, 50-40, in a PIAA first-round girls basketball game at the Lackawanna College Student Union March 9.
The Lady Comets ended the first quarter on a 7-2 run over the last four minutes to take a 14-9 lead.
Abington Heights scored the first six points of the second quarter before Upper Darby's Katie Fitzpatrick, who finished with a game-high 19 points, scored eight straight for the Lady Royals. Fitzpatrick also grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals.
After Upper Darby's Taylor Newman converted the first bucket of the second half, the Lady Comets outscored the Lady Royals 15-6 over the final seven minutes of the third quarter to take a 37-27 lead. Tiffany O'Donnell, who finished with 13 points and six assists, scored five points during the Abington Heights run.
"It was so important," O'Donnell said of building an early lead. "We were upset with ourselves that we let them get back in the game, but getting up by that much was definitely a confidence booster.
Melanie Coles, who led the Lady Comets with 14 points, scored eight in the fourth quarter to seal the win, including a pair of three-point plays. Coles also contributed 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
"From the beginning of the season we've been pushing ourselves," Coles said. "Getting to the second round of states is a huge deal for us."
Coles credited the unselfishness of her teammates for their recent success.
"We've all been working together so well," she said. "Down low, we've been feeding each other passes and finishing plays."
Katherine Rosencrance added eight points and three rebounds for the Lady Comets. Rosencrance also played a big role in holding Fitzpatrick to seven points in the second half.
"I thought Rosencrance and Coles did a good job guarding #11 (Fitzpatrick)," Abington Heights head coach Vince Bucciarelli said. "I was real pleased with their defense."
Breanna Toro scored 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots for the Lady Comets.
"She's a great shot blocker and now she's scoring in double figures," Bucciarelli said. "She's coming out with more confidence."
Abington Heights (23-4) was scheduled to play Central Dauphin March 13.