S. ABINGTON TWP. — Jackson Danzig needed 13 points to become the 13th boys basketball player in the 1,000 point club at Abington Heights and the senior wasted little time joining the group while leading the Comets to a 52-30 Senior Night win over West Scranton in a Lackawanna League Division 1 game Friday.
Danzig, who finished with 21 points, hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored his milestone basket on a backdoor pass from Corey Perkins less than a minute into the second quarter.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Danzig said. “I’ve always wanted to see my name up on that banner.”
Danzig, who will continue his basketball career at The University of Scranton under his father Carl’s tutelage, credited his former teammates for helping him evolve as a player.
“All the players that came before me really helped mold me as a player,” he said. “They always wanted the best for me and always tried to put me in the best positions to score. They helped me grow and learn, and they were always great role models. It’s a great system around here…everyone is a big family.”
Although Danzig scored 12 points in the first quarter, West Scranton’s Shayne Merrifield scored eight of his 10 points in the quarter to help the Invaders hold a 13-12 lead.
Danzig scored seven points, and Perkins and George Tinsley each chipped in with four in the second quarter as Abington Heights (18-3, 11-1 Div. 1) took a 27-22 lead into halftime.
Josh Hart scored seven of his nine points in the second quarter for West Scranton (8-12, 3-9 Div. 1).
Tinsley scored eight points in the third quarter when Abington Heights outscored West Scranton, 16-2.
“I knew, coming out in the second half, that I had to drive to the basket so either I’m getting shots or I’m creating shots for other people,” Tinsley said.
With the win, the Comets retained their one-game lead in the Division 1 standings.
“We knew we have to win out if we want to get (the division) and we want it bad,” Tinsley said.
Comets head coach Ken Bianchi, who also coached Jackson’s brothers, Ethan and Ross, reflected on the impact the Danzig trio has had at Abington Heights.
“His whole family has meant so much to our program,” Bianchi said. “There are a lot of things you don’t have to worry about because they are so well coached by their dad and that makes our job easier. They all fit right in and every one of them were great contributors.”
Bianchi added the Danzig’s impact on the team goes beyond his play on the basketball court.
“He’s a great person, there’s never a chance he’s going to get in trouble,” he said. “That’s a big relief for a coach, too. The guidance he has at home spills over and he shows great leadership. He’s always positive with the kids and that’s very important for a captain.”
Danzig, who also had eight rebounds and five assists, is now five points shy of Ross on the scoring list.
“Hopefully, I’ll get to score more points than him,” he said with a grin.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.