SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Abington Heights overcame a hot-shooting start from North Pocono to defeat the Lady Trojans, 48-36, in a Lackawanna League Division 1-2 girls basketball crossover game Feb. 2.
North Pocono made five of 11 shots in the first quarter, led by Chloe Pehanick, who scored six of her game-high 17 points in the quarter.
Grace Evans scored five points and Nicole Nealon added two with a strong drive to the basket for Abington Heights in the first.
Abington Heights (10-9, 8-2 Div. 1) started the second with an 8-3 run and outscored North Pocono, 18-7, in the quarter to take a 25-17 lead into halftime.
“We had a slow start out of the gate with some missed layups and turnovers, but once we got going I felt very comfortable,” Abington Heights head coach Deanna Klingman said.
Hannah Kowalski scored six points in the quarter, and forwards Paris Koehler and Erin Albright provided a spark off the bench for the Lady Comets in the second.
Koehler had four points and two rebounds while Albright scored three points and grabbed two offensive rebounds.
“Everyone contributed (to the win) with the things they do well on the court,” Klingman said. “You’re not going to win with one or two players and right now we have a great combination. There wasn’t a let down, no matter who went in the game. That’s a credit to the kids; they work hard at practice and feel comfortable going into big games.”
Abington Heights tightened up its defensive play in the third quarter, limiting North Pocono (12-7, 7-3 Div. 2) to six points.
“We got more compact in the 2-3 (zone) and dropped down on defense,” Abington Heights’ Alessia Brunori said. “Once we got on a roll with that, we were fine.”
Nicole Getz scored five of her nine points in the third for Abington Heights and Evans hit her second 3-pointer of the game off a drive and dish from Kowalski, who finished with 11 points, seven assists and three steals.
“I thought they would try to clog the lane a little bit,” Klingman said. “I think they know Hannah likes to drive and she had a great court sense to kick out to Grace, and she knocked them down.”
Evans capped her 11-point performance with a 3-pointer off an assist from Brunori to stretch Abington Heights’ lead to 13 with 6:46 left in the fourth quarter.
“My teammates are very good at getting me the ball at the 3-point line,” Evans said. “I like getting those threes and they’re definitely a help when we’re trying to make baskets.”
Brunori, who finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, sank three of four free throws in the fourth to help seal the Lady Comets fourth consecutive victory.
“We knew we had to play really well together to get this win,” Brunori said. “We’re executing a million times better on offense than we were in the beginning of the season. I think that’s been the most important thing.”
The Lady Comets trail Scranton by two games in the Division 1 standings with three games to play. The two teams will play in the regular season finale Feb. 13 at Abington Heights.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.