NEPA Sports Nation

AH, West register Division 1 wins

Abington Heights beat what has developed into its biggest challenger and West Scranton knocked off its biggest rival in Lackawanna League Division 1 boys basketball games Jan. 10.

Abington Heights 52, Valley View 38

Will Marion scored 17 points and Abington Heights held visiting Valley View to two points for a span of 11½ minutes in a game to decide the division lead.

The teams came in ranked 1-2 in the Riverfront Sport Super Six Basketball Power Rankings of District 2 teams, possessing the district’s best overall records at 9-1 and leading the races for the top seeds in the Class 5A and Class 4A district playoffs respectively.

The Comets and Cougars traded the lead seven times in the first 7:05.

Valley View’s A.J. Kucharski opened the scoring with a 3-pointer from the left corner 1:30 into the game. He had 7 of his team-high 13 points in the first 4:29 for one of the two times that the Cougars led by four points.

Abington Heights scored five straight with Marion hitting a 3-pointer for a 13-12 lead.

Eli Yusavage’s drive gave Valley View its last lead at 14-13 with 1:20 to go in the first quarter.

The Abington Heights defense took over from there, holding Valley View scoreless for 4:19 spanning the first and second quarter, then, after a single basket on a Connor Hilling drive, 7:11 more bridging the second and third quarters.

Marion wound up with seven points in the last 1:32 of the first quarter. He followed up his 3-pointer with a drive and another layup in the last minute of the quarter for a 17-14 lead.

Following Hilling’s basket, Abington Heights scored the last 11 points of the second quarter and first 2 of the third to open a 30-16 lead.

Patrick Walsh and reserve forward Zach Brister had four points each and Marion hit a 3-pointer off a long rebound during the streak to end the first half.

Ryan Nealon’s first basket capped the run at 13-0.

Valley View made its last surge with seven straight points to get within 30-23.

Taheed Jewell got the ball right back after a Marion block and converted to end the drought. Yusavage scored the next five points on a 3-pointer and two free throws.

Abington Heights closed the third quarter on an 8-2 run for a 38-25 lead.

Robby Lucas had seven points in that stretch and seven more in the fourth quarter. He finished with 16 points, with 14 coming in the last 11 minutes.

The Comets improved to 3-0 in the division while the Cougars dropped to 2-1.

West Scranton 60, Scranton 48

West Scranton put four scorers in double figures and carried a double-digits lead for much of the night while winning at Scranton High.

Tristan Lee led the way with 14 points, Zach Price had 13, Chris Ogden 12 and Evan Laybourne-Boddie 10.

Ogden and Lee got the Invaders started. Ogden had two 3-pointers in the first quarter and another in the second. Lee had eight points in the first half, four in each of the first two quarters.

They helped the Invaders to a 17-8 lead after one quarter. West Scranton then went on a 11-2 run for a 28-10 lead before the Knights scored the last 5 points in the last 45 seconds of the half.

Scranton cut the deficit to less than 10 just once in the second half, getting within 48-40 midway through the fourth before Laybourne-Boddie nailed a 3-pointer.

Oliver Almonte led Scranton with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Dillon Lazdowsky added 11 points and 9 rebounds.

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