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H.S. Boys Basketball: Dallas falls to Abington Heights in D2-5A championship game

Feb. 25—WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Abington Heights showed Dallas in the first three minutes why the Comets were unbeaten heading into Sunday night's District 2 Class 5A boys basketball championship game.

Then the Comets kept demonstrating why the intended to stay that way.

Abington scored the game's first 11 points and cut off any Dallas attempt to gain some ground, finishing with a 59-40 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Abington (24-0) won its second consecutive D2-5A title and will play in the PIAA 5A state playoffs March 8 against the District 12 fourth seed. Dallas (20-7) will also be in the state playoffs March 8 against the District 12 third seed.

"They played better than us tonight," Dallas coach Mark Belenski said. "They were aggressive on defense and we weren't."

Abington's Will Marion opened the game with an inside basket and Abington never trailed from that point. The Comets scored inside and outside, taking an 11-0 lead with just under three minutes expired.

"It was awesome for us," Marion said. "Dallas is a great team and coming off Wallenpaupack, we knew we had to come out and play the game we know we can play every game."

Dallas regrouped and a three-point play by big man Nick Williams moved the Mountaineers within 13-10 at 1:43 of the first quarter. The Comets cut off the rally attempt on a 3-pointer by Ryan Nealon and a fastbreak basket by Marion.

Dallas made more inroads in the second quarter and once again Abington muted the brief comeback bid.

Mikey Cumbo scored inside and Jude Nocito hit a corner 3-pointer as Dallas trimmed an eight-point deficit to 20-17 at 4:14 of the second quarter. But then Dallas failed to score after a defensive stop and Abington stopped shooting from the perimeter.

The result was three consecutive baskets in the paint by the Comets, the final two by Robby Lucas for a 26-17 lead.

"They know who is supposed to go for the threes," Abington coach Ken Bianchi said. "As soon as we got that little lead there, I was looking and he shouldn't have shot it, he shouldn't have shot it. I said 'Hey, this game's not over. (Dallas is) not here because they are easy.'

"We had to cool them down a little bit."

Abington pretty much sealed the game with a 10-2 run to close out the third for a 46-30 lead. A Dallas player received a technical foul during the run, and Dallas' bench was given another technical early in the fourth quarter.

Cumbo was the only Mountaineer in double figures with 12 points.

The 40 points were the second fewest Dallas has scored this season. The Mountaineers lost to Scranton 57-39 on Dec. 20.

District 2 Class 5A Championship

Abington Heights 59, Dallas 40

DALLAS (40) — Nocito 3 1-1 8, Faux 2 0-0 5, Paczewski 1 0-0 3, Cumbo 4 4-4 12, Williams 3 1-2 7, Zapoticky 0 0-0 0, Farrell 1 0-0 2, P.Flanagan 0 0-0 0, Karosa 1 1-2 3, Jones 0 0-0 0, Zangardi 0 0-0 0, Mizzer 0 0-0 0, Berry 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 7-9 40.

ABINGTON HEIGHTS (59) — Fedor 3 2-2 8, Marion 3 1-2 7, Nealon 5 7-10 21, Shaffer 2 0-0 5, Lucas 4 8-01 16, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Malek 0 0-0 0, Kettel 1 0-0 2, Abel 0 0-0 0, Curtin 0 0-0 0, Plantz 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 18-24 59.

Dallas'12'8'10'10 — 40

Abington Heights'18'12'16'13 — 59

Three-point goals — DAL 4 (Nocito, Faux, Paczewski), AH 5 (Nealon 4, Shaffer).