Defense key in victory

First Posted: 3/14/2012

SCRANTON- After falling behind by 11 points at the end of the first quarter, Abington Heights switched defenses and changed the momentum of the game.

“We switched from zone to man-to-man and coach (Ken Bianchi) told us to pressure a little bit more,” Abington Heights guard J.C. Show said. “We got some turnovers and easy baskets.”

Show, who finished with 20 points and three assists, scored five straight points late in the fourth quarter to lead Abington Heights to a 62-54 victory over Northern Lehigh in a PIAA first-round contest March 9 at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

With the Comets ahead by two points and just over 3:00 left in the game, Bianchi called for a half-court trap.

“Coach made an adjustment out of a timeout to trap two of their guards and we were able to get a steal and two points,” Show said. “We were really struggling to get buckets in the third quarter. It was nice to get a high percentage shot. On the next possession, Patrick (Calvey) was able to find me and fortunately I was able to make the shot.”

Another move Bianchi made was putting reserve John Vassil on Northern Lehigh’s Lucas Pierce, who had scored 14 points in the first quarter. Vassil played a big role in holding Pierce to just seven points over the final three quarters while Jason Bamford and T.J. Murray were on the bench due to foul trouble.

“He did a tremendous job defensively,” Bianchi said. “Pound for pound, he’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached. He never gives up.”

Murray kept the Comets within striking distance in the first quarter, scoring seven of his 10 points.

“T.J. hit some shots for us when he we’re struggling mightily early on and he hit a big jumper at the end,” Bianchi said.

The Comets began the second quarter on a 19-0 run that was sparked by 11 consecutive turnovers by Northern Lehigh. Kevin Elwell, who scored six of his nine points in the quarter, ended the run with a 3-pointer. Northern Lehigh finally got their first basket of the quarter when Devin Glose scored with 1:28 left.

“That was a lot of fun,” Show said of the run. “A lot of people might have counted us out. There was a lot of game left, but they were giving it to us. The great thing about this team is that we stick together. We never folded or wavered, we just continued to play hard and we were able to make some plays.”

Pat Calvey, who was held scoreless throughout most of the game, made three of four free-throws in the final minutes to help seal the win.

Abington Heights (23-5) was scheduled to play Berks Catholic March 13.

comments powered by Disqus