YATESVILLE – Abington Heights nearly erased an early 15-point deficit against an unbeaten team before falling short Saturday afternoon, Dec. 22, in a 57-45, non-league girls basketball loss at Pittston Area.
The Lady Comets closed within two points in the second quarter and one point in the third quarter, but never regained the lead after scoring the game's first four points.
That start hurt us, Lady Comets coach Vince Bucciarelli said. They outhustled us in the first quarter. I had to take the press off because they getting the ball up the floor.
Caitie Nealon hit a long 3-pointer to open the second quarter and a longer one a minute later to start the comeback attempt. The Lady Comets, who fell to 4-3 going into the Lynett Memorial Tournament, then the start of league play.
I'm proud of our girls and the way they came in the last three quarters, Bucciarelli said. We missed some opportunities. But, it was a good exhibition game to get us ready for the league.
That's why we put teams like this on the schedule.
Monmouth recruit Mia Hopkins led Pittston Area to its win with 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists. On the defensive end, she had game-high totals of six blocked shots and five steals without committing a foul until the final minute.
Abington Heights committed nine turnovers while falling behind, 23-8, after one quarter.
Katherine Rosencrance completed a streak of 10 straight points, then had the last three points when the run extended to 15-2.
Rosencrance also held Hopkins scoreless during that stretch to reduce the deficit to 25-23. Hopkins averages 22.5 per game.
When Rosencrance was called for three fouls in 24 seconds, she headed to the bench. Pittston Area scored five straight points, including three by Hopkins, to end the half with a 30-23 lead.
We had a good second quarter, but then we rushed a couple of shots at the end of the quarter and, instead of being down two, we were down seven, Bucciarelli said.
Caitie Nealon, who finished with a team-high 15 points, had five more points and an assist during a 10-2 run early in the second half to close the gap to 34-33.
Pittston Area answered with seven straight points and Abington Heights never got closer than six the rest of the way.
Rosencrance finished with 12 points. Breanna Toro added eight points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. Melanie Coles had six points and five steals.
Pittston Area, which had won its previous four games by at least 20 points each, improved to 6-0.
The Lady Comets played another Wyoming Valley Conference opponent two days earlier and came away with a 51-27 win over Tunkhannock.
Blair Cacciamani had 10 of her 11 points in the first half.
Coles had five of her 10 points in the first quarter when Abington Heights raced to an 18-3 lead.