SCRANTON — Abington Heights was held scoreless for more than five minutes to start the contest and Scranton converted eight free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off the Lady Comets, 42-36, in the opening game of the Lynett Memorial Girls Basketball Tournament on Sunday, Dec. 27 at the Lackawanna College Student Union.
Scranton (3-4) scored the first six points before Abington Heights guard Nicole Getz, who scored a game-high 16 points, hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Comets with 2:47 left in the first quarter. The Lady Knights responded by scoring five of the next nine points to lead 11-7 at the end of the first.
“I think we’re going to get better and better,” Abington Heights head coach Deanna Klingman said. “Nicole Getz stepped up tonight which I really liked, but I want everybody to feel comfortable taking a big shot. If it’s there for them, I want them to take the shot.”
Ciara Lloyd, who finished with 14 points and four steals, scored eight in the first quarter for Scranton.
“Abington’s (Hannah Kowalski) did a really good job on her, but great players show up during times when you need them,” Scranton head coach P.J. Hughes said of Lloyd. “She handles the whole offense and hit a couple big shots.”
The Lady Knights started the second quarter on a 5-0 run, sparked by a 3-pointer from Jasmyne Moody, and led 18-15 at halftime.
Scranton guard Tahliah Dillon scored six of her team-high 15 points in the third quarter when Scranton stretched its lead to 30-23.
“She stepped up and scored four points in a row, including a baseline jumper,” Hughes said.
Scranton’s Georgia Miller, listed at five-foot-six, grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds including one after a miss on a one-and-one attempt at the foul line with 6:40 left in the fourth quarter that led to a made shot from Lloyd.
“She plays taller than most girls I’ve ever seen,” Hughes said of Miller. “She really did everything for us today as a senior.”
After missing her first two free throws, Dillon converted her next six in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Abington Heights (5-3) made just four of 21 shots in the first half and nine of 46 (19 percent) in the game, but hit 15 of 18 foul shots to remain in contention.
“The basketball didn’t fall in the hoop today, no matter what we tried,” Klingman said. “You have to put it in perspective, I thought we did a pretty good job defensively in the second half. It’s a learning process for the girls. They have another new coach and need to start believing in what they can accomplish on the floor. It’s a good experience to be in tight games, it’s really going to help us down the stretch.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage