WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Abington Heights used two big second half runs to hold off Williamsport, 42-36, and win the District 2-4 Class 4A subregional boys basketball championship Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
It’s the fifth straight district title for the Comets, including the last two in Class 4A.
“That really says something about our program,” Abington Heights senior forward Tim Toro said. “We’ve progressed as a team every year.”
Williamsport held the Comets to just four points in the first quarter and forced Abington Heights into seven turnovers.
The Millionaires also closed the second quarter on a 6-2 run to lead by seven points at halftime.
The Comets opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run capped by a slam from Seth Maxwell with 4:04 left in the third to take a 23-22 lead. It was their first lead since 7:44 of the first quarter.
“We started scoring off the press,” Abington Heights head coach Ken Bianchi said. “Everyone contributed for us to get the win.”
Maxwell led the Comets with 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Colin Klingman finished with three points, five assists and three steals for Abington Heights.
Abington Heights scored the first five points of the fourth quarter. Tim Toro scored five of his 10 points in the fourth for the Comets. Toro added eight rebounds and two steals in the game.
A rebound and slam dunk by Maxwell gave the Comets a 33-29 lead with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter and energized the Comets faithful in the crowd. Another Maxwell dunk off an assist from Klingman increased Abington Heights’ lead to six points with 2:25 remaining in the game.
“Those big plays help us get hyped and get the momentum in our favor,” Maxwell said.
Williamsport’s defensive pressure forced Abington Heights into 20 turnovers, but just five in the fourth quarter.
“It all came down to our turnovers,” Toro said. “We knew if we limited our turnovers we could control the game.”
Treyson Potts had a steal and basket to cut the Comets lead to four points with 1:42 left in the game, but Abington Heights converted three free throws and freshman George Tinsley scored two baskets down the stretch to clinch the win.
“We have confidence in George (Tinsley),” Bianchi said. “He doesn’t know he’s a freshman. He doesn’t get nervous, he’s going to be a good player.”
Nyric Gosley led Williamsport with 16 points and five steals.
Abington Heights (23-2) will play Lancaster McCaskey at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 at Marywood University in the first round of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941or on Twitter @rtomkavage