Abington Journal

Abington Heights boys basketball defeats Dallas for D2-5A title

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — The shot selection was fine in Dallas coach Mark Belenski’s eyes. It’s what happened after they were released that doomed the Mountaineers on Sunday night.

Poor shooting coupled with inadequate rebounding was a recipe for disaster as Abington Heights defeated Dallas 61-36 for the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball title at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Abington (22-3), which won its seventh consecutive district crown, will play District 3 eighth seed Garden Spot (15-13) on Friday in the first round of the PIAA Class 5A state tournament at a site and time to be announced. Dallas (20-5) gets D3 fourth seed Lower Dauphin (19-7) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wyoming Area Secondary Center. The Mountaineers are in states for the first time since 2008.

Dallas shot 13-of-43 (30 percent) from the field during the game, including 3 of 10 in the third quarter when the Mountaineers had the deficit down to 34-27 with a little over two minutes left in the period. But many of those shots were one-and-dones as Abington dominated the board with 37 rebounds compared to 20 for Dallas.

“You don’t make shots, you don’t rebound, you lose the game,” Belenski said. “It’s very simple. I’m very frustrated … we didn’t make shots and we didn’t rebound. Basketball is very simple.”

Abington’s George Tinsley made it look that way Sunday. The 6-foot-5 junior had two game highs with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Malone, a 6-4 sophomore, grabbed 10 more boards. No Dallas player had more than four rebounds.

Malone’s rebound on a missed foul shot resulted directly in Jack Nealon’s third 3-pointer. The basket came after Dallas cut the deficit to 34-27 on a rare four-point play by Joey Parsons. The Comets closed out the third with Nealon’s fourth trey and a free throw by Tinsley for a 41-27 advantage.

“We knew at halftime that at the end of the second quarter we didn’t have that much energy,” Tinsley said. “We weren’t playing that well, so I knew coming out we had to start out with a bang.”

After Parsons’ four-point play at 2:13 of the third quarter, the Comets scored 21 of the next 25 points to take command, 55-31, with 3:27 to play.

Parsons and Alex Charlton led Dallas with 10 points each.

Abington’s seven consecutive district championships have come in three classifications. Sunday’s win gave the Comets their second at 5A, a new classification started last year. They won the D2-4A title in 2015 and 2016 and the D2-3A titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

This one, though, came as a surprise to long-time coach Ken Bianchi. He returned three seniors, but lost one in December to a foot injury. Two newcomers didn’t play varsity or junior varsity last season.

“I just think they’re afraid to let down the people who have played so well over the years,” Bianchi said. “They feel like they’re not only playing for themselves but they are playing for what those guys did, too.”

District 2 Class 5A Championship

Abington Heights 61, Dallas 36

DALLAS (36) — Alex Charlton 4 0-0 1o, Nick Kocher 1 0-0 3, Joey Parsons 4 1-2 10, Matt Mathers 1 3-5 6, Jay Bittner 0 1-3 1, Jack Farrell 2 0-2 4. Brody Strickland 1 0-0 2, Luke DelGaudio 0 0-0 0, Dylan Schuster 0 0-0 0, Sam Nocito 0 0-0 0, Andrew Kovalick 0 0-0 0, Steven Finarelli 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 5-12 36.

ABINGTON HEIGHTS (61) — George Tinsley 10 1-6 21, Corey Perkins 1 2-4 4, Jackson Danzig 4 0-2 9, Jack Nealon 5 5-5 19, Mike Malone 2 0-1 4, Alex Derry 2 0-2 4, Garrett Plantz 0 0-0 0, Drew Nealon 0 0-0 0, Tucker Schimelfenig 0 0-0 0, Harold Jackson 0 0-2 0, Aiden Demkowich 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 8-22 61.

Dallas`6`11`10`9 — 36

Abington Heights`13`9`19`20 — 61

Three-point goals — DAL 5 (Charlton 2, Kocher, Parsons, Mathers), AH 5 (Danzig, Nealon 4).

Dallas’ Joey Parsons, right, and Abington Heights’ Jackson Danzig battle for a rebound in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL030518HSBB-Dallas-Abington_1.jpgDallas’ Joey Parsons, right, and Abington Heights’ Jackson Danzig battle for a rebound in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Dallas’ Jay Bittner goes up for a shot against Abington Heights in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL030518HSBB-Dallas-Abington_2.jpgDallas’ Jay Bittner goes up for a shot against Abington Heights in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Dallas’ Alex Charlton, right, drives the baseline against Abington Heights’ George Tinsley in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL030518HSBB-Dallas-Abington_3.jpgDallas’ Alex Charlton, right, drives the baseline against Abington Heights’ George Tinsley in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Dallas’ Jack Farrell shoots a runner as Abington Heights’ Alex Derry defends in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_TTL030518HSBB-Dallas-Abington_4.jpgDallas’ Jack Farrell shoots a runner as Abington Heights’ Alex Derry defends in the District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Abington Heights defeats Mounts for D2-5A title

By John Erzar

jerzar@timesleader.com

BOYS BASKETBALL STATE SCHEDULE

Friday

Class 4A

Nanticoke Area vs. Bethlehem Catholic, 7:30 p.m. Bethlehem Liberty HS

Class 5A

Dallas vs. Lower Dauphin, 7:30 p.m. Wyoming Area HS

Saturday

Class 2A

Northwest vs. Muncy, 4:30 p.m. Williamsport HS

Class 3A

Wyoming Seminary vs. Mastery Charter South, 6 p.m. Wilkes University

Holy Redeemer vs. Loyalsock, 7:30 p.m. Williamsport HS

Class 6A

Hazleton Area vs. Norristown, time TBA Berwick HS

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar