SCRANTON- A Scranton Prep 15-4 run in the third quarter proved insurmountable as the defending Lynett Tournament champion Abington Heights Lady Comets fell in the finals to the Lady Cavaliers 29-24 Friday at Lackawanna College Dec. 28.
The Lady Comets held Scranton Prep to just 14 points in the first, second and fourth quarters combined, but the Lady Cavaliers broke through in the third with 15. Meanwhile, the Abington Heights offense struggled, managing just 15 points in the first three quarters.
I thought we did a great job defensively against a good offensive team, Abington Heights coach Vince Bucciarelli said. We shut down some of their higher scorers, but we had to come up and put the ball in the bucket, which we didn't do.
In the first quarter, the Lady Comets controlled the tempo with stifling defense. Breanna Toro led the Abington Heights' defensive effort, constantly blocking and altering shots taken in the paint. The Lady Cavaliers managed just two points in the first quarter.
Scranton Prep battled back in the second quarter, scoring six straight points to gain an 8-6 advantage. On the ensuing possession, Caitie Nealon knocked down a three-pointer to reclaim the lead for Abington Heights. The Lady Comets extended their lead when Melanie Coles fed Chloe Shook inside for an easy two.
Abington Heights took an 11-8 lead into the half before the Lady Cavaliers rattled off seven straight points to start the third quarter. Nealon helped cut the deficit to 16-15 when she scored on a layup and found Shook down low for another easy two.
Scranton Prep answered with another 7-0 run to end the third quarter, which put the Lady Comets in a 23-15 hole.
We had a couple key turnovers and didn't get a couple shots off, Bucciarelli said. We missed a few assignments and they made some shots, but that happens.
The Abington Heights defense picked up again in the fourth quarter as Toro sent back three shots that were tossed up in the lane. Coles scored four straight points on the offensive end to cut the deficit to 25-21.
After a Scranton Prep free throw, Toro nailed a layup and a free throw to cut the Lady Cavaliers' lead to two points.
Despite the comeback effort, the Lady Comets failed to score again in the closing minutes.
Coles led the Lady Comets with eights points, while earning all-tournament team honors. Nealon added seven points for Abington Heights, while Shook chipped in four.
Tricia Bynre scored a game-high 10 points to lead Scranton Prep and earned tournament MVP honors.
The Lady Comets will have a rematch against the Lady Cavaliers at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, at Scranton Prep.
I'm proud of the effort, Bucciarelli said. We'll go back to the drawing board and get ready for them Thursday.