Abington Heights cruises past Holy Cross in boys basketball opener

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com
Abington Heights’ Jackson Danzig (No. 22) and Holy Cross’ Pat Galvin attempt to gain control of the ball during a Lackawanna League boys basketball game Dec. 8. Abington Heights won 72-32. - Stephanie Walkowski photos | For Abington Journal
Abington Heights guard Trey Koehler lays the ball in the hoop during the Comets’ 72-32 win over Holy Cross. - Stephanie Walkowski photos | For Abington Journal
Abington Heights forward George Tinsley, who scored a game-high 25 points, goes up for a slam dunk during the Comets’ 72-32 win over Holy Cross. - Stephanie Walkowski photos | For Abington Journal

S. ABINGTON TWP. — Abington Heights received contributions from players up and down the lineup and tightened up its defense in the second half to defeat Holy Cross, 72-32, in a Lackawanna League Div. 1-3 boys basketball crossover game Dec. 8.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, which Abington Heights led 13-12, the Comets took control.

Abington Heights junior forward George Tinsley scored eight points, including two 3-pointers, to pace the team in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Caleb Callejas scored seven of his team-high 10 points in the first for Holy Cross (0-1).

“In the beginning, they beat us off the dribble, kicked it out and made some shots,” Abington Heights head coach Ken Bianchi said of Holy Cross. “We took some shots we shouldn’t have taken, but I thought we calmed down.”

Tinsley, who scored a game-high 25 points, stayed hot in the second quarter, scoring 10, as Abington Heights (1-0) outscored Holy Cross, 19-8.

“We were moving the ball well, my teammates were finding me wide open, and I was able to knock down the shots,” Tinsley said.

Sophomore guard Corey Perkins, who entered the game in the second quarter after junior guard Trey Koehler was called for his second foul, found Tinsley for two 3-pointers.

Perkins finished with five points and four assists and freshman Harry Johnson grabbed five rebounds and scored his lone bucket in the final seconds of the first half to give Abington Heights a 32-20 lead.

“I’ve been practicing all week to fill in for the guys if they got into foul trouble,” Perkins said. “I just came in and did what I had to do. (George) was hot, so I kept feeding him the ball.”

According to Tinsley, the tight first quarter was a bit of a wake-up call for the Comets.

“We definitely had to pick it up once they started bringing the intensity,” he said. “We were taller than them, but they came with toughness and we had to match it. We stopped gambling a lot. We sat back and just played defense.”

Koehler scored seven of his 13 points in the third quarter to help the Comets stretch their lead to 15.

“In the first half, I got two quick fouls so I was trying to be conservative so I didn’t get my third,” Koehler said. “In the third quarter, I knew I could be more aggressive going to the hoop.”

Eight Abington Heights players — Tinsley, senior forward Jackson Danzig, junior guard Jack Nealon, Koehler, senior forward Alex Derry, junior guard Andrew Keris, senior guard Tucker Schimelfenig and senior guard Garrett Plantz — scored in the fourth quarter when the Comets outscored Holy Cross, 26-1.

Danzig finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Abington Heights. Sophomore guard Keiran Burrier had eight points and five rebounds for Holy Cross.

Abington Heights’ Jackson Danzig (No. 22) and Holy Cross’ Pat Galvin attempt to gain control of the ball during a Lackawanna League boys basketball game Dec. 8. Abington Heights won 72-32.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_ABJ-AH-BBall-Danzig.jpgAbington Heights’ Jackson Danzig (No. 22) and Holy Cross’ Pat Galvin attempt to gain control of the ball during a Lackawanna League boys basketball game Dec. 8. Abington Heights won 72-32. Stephanie Walkowski photos | For Abington Journal

Abington Heights guard Trey Koehler lays the ball in the hoop during the Comets’ 72-32 win over Holy Cross.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_ABJ-AH-BBall-Koehler.jpgAbington Heights guard Trey Koehler lays the ball in the hoop during the Comets’ 72-32 win over Holy Cross. Stephanie Walkowski photos | For Abington Journal

Abington Heights forward George Tinsley, who scored a game-high 25 points, goes up for a slam dunk during the Comets’ 72-32 win over Holy Cross.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_ABJ-AH-BBall-Tinsley.jpgAbington Heights forward George Tinsley, who scored a game-high 25 points, goes up for a slam dunk during the Comets’ 72-32 win over Holy Cross. Stephanie Walkowski photos | For Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

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

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