Abington Heights downs Hazleton Area in District 2-4 Class 4A boys basketball semis


By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com



Hazleton Area’s Da’mir Faison, right, makes a strong move to the hoop ahead of Abington Heights’ Seth Maxwell in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Joey Grula, left, makes a steal in the Abington Heights backcourt in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Michael Cusatis, left, dishes off the ball in the lane as Abington Heights’ Jackson Danzig moves in during a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Bobby Planutis, right, drives past Abington Heights’ Tim Toro in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Dante Biasi, right, passes the ball to a teammate against Abington Heights in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

BERWICK — Abington Heights blitzed Hazleton Area early scoring 11 of the 14 points of the game and held on for a 62-53 win in the semifinals on the District 2-4 Class 4A subregional boys basketball playoffs Friday night.

After the Comets ran off nine straight points to start the game, Hazleton’s Bobby Planutis hit a 3-pointer with 4:17 left in the first. Hazleton Area shot 1-12 in the first quarter when Abington Heights took an 18-4 lead.

“The was very important,” Abington Heights head coach Ken Bianchi said of the early lead. “When knew we had to jump on them early. We figured to win the game we had to cut down on our turnovers and take away their transition game.”

The Cougars started the second quarter on a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to seven points with 3:40 remaining in the second quarter, but the Comets closed the half strong to lead 29-19.

Seth Maxwell had 16 points, seven blocks and six rebounds for the Comets, including an alley-oop slam off a pass from Jackson Danzig to start the third quarter. The Comets scored six of his first seven points of the third to take a 35-20 lead.

The Comets converted three 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 53-39 advantage.

Bobby Planutis scored five of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter. Michael Cusatis also scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth for the Cougars.

“We played the way we wanted to play,” Hazleton Area head coach Mike Joseph said. “I thought we forced a lot of turnovers and I thought our young guys gave us a tremendous amount of energy. Our seniors, unfortunately are going out on a bit of a sour note, but they have a lot to be proud of.”

Abington Heights forward Tim Toro highlighted a 22-point effort with the 1,000th point of his career on a free throw in the final minute.

Abington Heights will play Williamsport, who defeated Wyoming Valley West, 94-66, for the district championship at 8 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Mohegian Sun Arena.

Abington Heights 62, Hazleton Area 53

ABINGTON HEIGHTS (62) — Tim Toro 6 10-14 22, Seth Maxwell 6 3-6 16, Jackson Danzig 2 2-4 7, Colin Klingman 0 6-8 6, Jordan Hollander 2 1-2 6, Tom Rothenberger 1 0-1 3, George Tinsley 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 22-35 62.

HAZLETON AREA (53) — Bobby Planutis 4 7-9 16, Michael Cusatis 5 0-1 11, Jeffrey Planutis 3 1-1 7, Damir Faison 3 2-2, 8, Dante Biasi 1 3-5 5, Joey Grula 1 2-2 4, Nolan Genasevich 1 0-0 2, Shane Planutis 0 0-0 0, Isiah Santiago 0 0-0 o Totals 18 15-20 53.

Abington Heights`18`11`12`21`—62

Hazleton Area`4`15`14`20`—`53

Three-point goals — AH 4 (Danzig, Maxwell, Rothenberger); HAZ 2 (B. Planutis, Cusatis).

Hazleton Area’s Da’mir Faison, right, makes a strong move to the hoop ahead of Abington Heights’ Seth Maxwell in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Hazleton-AH_BB_5.jpgHazleton Area’s Da’mir Faison, right, makes a strong move to the hoop ahead of Abington Heights’ Seth Maxwell in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Joey Grula, left, makes a steal in the Abington Heights backcourt in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Hazleton-AH_BB_4.jpgHazleton Area’s Joey Grula, left, makes a steal in the Abington Heights backcourt in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Michael Cusatis, left, dishes off the ball in the lane as Abington Heights’ Jackson Danzig moves in during a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Hazleton-AH_BB_1.jpgHazleton Area’s Michael Cusatis, left, dishes off the ball in the lane as Abington Heights’ Jackson Danzig moves in during a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Bobby Planutis, right, drives past Abington Heights’ Tim Toro in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Hazleton-AH_BB_2.jpgHazleton Area’s Bobby Planutis, right, drives past Abington Heights’ Tim Toro in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Hazleton Area’s Dante Biasi, right, passes the ball to a teammate against Abington Heights in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Hazleton-AH_BB_3.jpgHazleton Area’s Dante Biasi, right, passes the ball to a teammate against Abington Heights in a District 2/4 Class 4A subregional semifinal in Berwick on Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

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