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Danzig leads Abington over PA

CARBONDALE — Ross Danzig scored a team-high 18 points Friday night and still had time to hand out 10 assists as Abington Heights rolled over Pittston Area, 73-53, to take District 2’s third and final berth in the state Class 3A boys basketball tournament.

The Comets open state play Friday against Eastern York, which entered the 19-team, District 3 tournament as the second seed before finishing fourth.

Danzig and back-up guard Luke Peterson each had six points while three teammates added at least four during a 26-point second quarter in which the Comets erased a two-point deficit and jumped in front, 45-27, at halftime.

“We didn’t play well at the start on defense,” Abington Heights coach Ken Bianchi said. “Once we settled in a little, we switched defenses a few times and got back on track.

“It was a good second quarter.”

After initially having trouble getting lob passes through the Pittston Area defense, Abington Heights found ways to feed its big men.

Eric Hardaway went 8-for-13 from the floor while scoring 17 points and Dan Smith went 7-for-8 while scoring 15.

“We did a good job when we did get the ball inside,” Bianchi said.

Bianchi said troubles with Pittston Area’s pressure and running game during an early-season scrimmage kept him from ever being comfortable with the lead.

Cory Spangenberg added seven assists for Abington Heights.

The win came in the team’s first game since having a 22-game winning streak snapped in a semifinal loss to Crestwood.

“We played a solid game on both ends of the floor after the first quarter,” Bianchi said.

Carl Stravinski had nine of his 19 in the first quarter for Pittston Area, a 10th seed which pulled two straight upsets to move within a game of the state playoffs.

Matt Zera added 12 points and Kenneth Wiggins had 11.

PITTSTON AREA (13-13) 53

Zera 5 0-0 12, Stravinski 8 3-3 19, Irvin 3 0-0 6, Kendric Wiggins 2 1-1 5, Kenneth Wiggins 4 1-2 11, O’Dell 0 0-0 0, Callahan 0 0-0 0, Blasi 0 0-0 0, Houseman 0 0-0 0, Joyce 0 0-0 0, Timlin 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 5-6 53.

ABINGTON HEIGHTS (23-2) 73

Smith 7 1-1 15, Spangenberg 2 4-4 9,Danzig 7 1-1 18, Vassil 1 0-0 3, Hardaway 8 1-2 17, Burke 0 0-0 0, DelPrete 0 2-2 2, Peterson 3 2-2 9, Umerich 0 0-0 0, LaCapra 0 0-0 0, Lenahan 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 11-12 73.

Pittston Area 21 6 13 13 53
Abington Heights 19 26 13 15 73

3-point baskets: Pittston Area 4 (Zera 2, Kenneth Wiggins 2), Abington Heights 6 (Danzig 3, Spangenberg, Peterson, Vassil).

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