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Players ready for PIAA state semifinals

JB Hoops players are prominent on District 2’s two representatives in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association boys basketball semifinals.

When Abington Heights and Nanticoke try to land state championship game berths Tuesday night in a doubleheader at Bethlehem Freedom, a half dozen JB Hoops players will be trying to extend their high school seasons.

Both teams will be facing Philadelphia powers that won District 12 titles and have been overwhelming opponents in the state tournament.

All six players are starters and rank among their teams’ top four scorers.

Sophomore Nate Kreitzer is the second-leading scorer and joins senior Justin Casey in the Nanticoke lineup for the 6 p.m. Class 4A game against Imhotep Charter.

Sophomores George Tinsley and Trey Koehler, junior Jackson Danzig and senior Seth Maxwell are the top four scorers on the Abington Heights team that will face Archbishop Wood in the 7:30 Class 5A game.

Nanticoke (21-7) has won four straight, including the third-place game it needed to qualify for the state tournament after losing to Scranton Prep in double overtime in the District 2 semifinals. The Trojans are back in the state semifinals for the first time since 1985.

Kreitzer scored 25 points in the 57-46 win over Meyers in the third-place game and has led the Trojans in the state playoffs, averaging 17.3 points in wins over Bethlehem Catholic (58-56), Conwell-Egan (62-54) and West Philadelphia (78-62).

Imhotep Charter (29-2) is playing in the state semifinals for the 10th time in 11 years and looking for its fifth state title in that time. It has beaten the first three state opponents by a total of 103 points.

Abington Heights has 11 state tournament wins since 2010, but this is the first time in school history that the Comets have reached the state semifinals.

The Comets (25-3) are on a 10-game winning streak that includes the District 2 title. The first eight of those wins were by an average of 28.5 points per game, but the last two came during weekend, double-overtime battles.

Danzig had 25 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter and overtimes, during a 65-60, second-round victory over Martin Luther King of Philadelphia. He had 30 points, including 18 of the team’s 22 overtime points, in Sunday’s 65-61 victory over Chester.

Archbishop Wood (26-3) has reached the semifinals with three state tournament wins by a total of 79 points.

 

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