SCRANTON- When Abington Heights High School girls basketball team needed a lift in the second quarter, Tiffany O'Donnell stepped up. The senior guard scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the quarter to spark the Lady Comets to a 49-25 win over Wallenpaupack in the District 2 Class AAAA title game March 2 at the Lackawanna College Student Union.
"I was really pumped up after I hit the first two 3s and then my shot was just coming natural, so I had to keep shooting," O'Donnell said. "We've worked so hard for the past couple weeks and months and it's all really paying off."
After forcing the Lady Buckhorns into eight first-quarter turnovers, Abington Heights led 13-9. Then, O'Donnell took control, knocking down three 3-pointers in a span of 3:20.
"The girls ran her off some pretty good picks and she was hot," Abington Heights head coach Vince Bucciarelli said. "She was in a zone at that time."
Despite having a 10- point halftime lead, Bucciarelli wasn't entirely pleased with the team's play.
"We weren't as sharp in the first half," he said. "I gave them a talk at halftime. They came out in the second half and played well. Breanna Toro hit some buckets and Lauren Hoyt started penetrating and dishing off with her speed. That opened up a lot of things for us."
The Lady Comets responded to his message, holding Wallenpaupack to seven points in the second half and not allowing a field goal in the fourth quarter.
"They came out and hustled," Bucciarelli said. "I thought Melanie Coles did a great job helping down in the inside. It was a great win."
Toro, who finished with 16 points, scored the first four points of the third quarter to stretch the Lady Comets lead.
"I knew to get to the open spot and my teammates gave me great passes," she said.
Hoyt was determined to lead her team to a third straight district championship. The senior guard contributed eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
"It feels awesome, she said. "It's my last year so I wanted to put everything out there. My shot was off, so I thought I could pick up my defense."
Abington Heights (22-4) will play Upper Darby High School in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Lackawanna College Student Union.