Abington Heights boys basketball will count on new pieces to continue success

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com | November 27th, 2015 4:08 pm

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — The Abington Heights boys basketball team hopes to continue a recent string of success. The Comets have won four consecutive district titles, three at Class 3A and one at Class 4A last season, and will be led by two of the area’s tallest players.

Six-foot-nine senior Tim Toro and 6-foot-10 junior Seth Maxwell give the Comets an intimidating one-two punch on the inside. They are likely to be joined in the starting lineup by senior guards Colin Klingman and Jordan Hollander, and sophomore forward Jackson Danzig.

“Their size gives us a big advantage, especially on the defensive end,” Abington Heights head coach Ken Bianchi said of Toro and Maxwell. “On the offensive end, we’re going to have to get some scoring from other guys.”

Senior guard Eric Mahoney, junior forward Lucas Goodman, junior guards Tom Rothenberger and Randy Jefferson, freshman forward George Tinsley and freshman guard Trey Koehler may also work their way into the rotation for playing time.

Abington Heights finished last season with a 22-4 overall record, including a 6-2 mark in Lackawanna League Division 1 play. They also won in a game in the state playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, defeating Central York, before falling to La Salle College High School.

Four key contributors graduated off last year’s team in guard Tyler Ksiazek, guard/forward Clay Basalyga, guard/forward Matt McDonald and center Chase Wickenheiser.

According to Bianchi, it will be a difficult task to replace their grit and energy on the court.

“We have to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together,” he said. “We have height, but we don’t know what kind of depth we’re going to have and we need to get mentally tough. We lost a few kids that were really tough and we have to retain that toughness.”

Bianchi, who enters the season with 699 wins, is hopeful the team will remain among the best in the area.

“We’re hoping to contend for the league title and to win the district,” he said. “I think we’re pretty settled at the forward position, but we have to see what combination we can get with the guards to get some outside scoring. Everybody is going to pack in their defense and try to stop the two big guys so we’re going to need to get some outside scoring from our guards if we’re going to be successful.”

Bianchi expects Scranton, Scranton Prep and West Scranton to provide the toughest competition within Lackawanna League Division 1 play.

Abington Heights will open its season by hosting Holy Cross at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4.

From left, Abington Heights boys basketball projected starters Jackson Danzig, Tim Toro, Colin Klingman and Jordan Hollander.
http://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ABJ-AH-Boys-basketball.jpgFrom left, Abington Heights boys basketball projected starters Jackson Danzig, Tim Toro, Colin Klingman and Jordan Hollander. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage


Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.