HERSHEY – All four JB Hoops players in the Abington Heights starting lineup scored in double figures Tuesday night when the Comets made the most of their first trip to a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association final by capturing the Class 5A state championship with a 67-55 victory over Mars at the Giant Center.
Junior forward George Tinsley scored 29 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to lead the win, but he got plenty of help from Jack Nealon, Jackson Danzig and Corey Perkins.
Tinsley scored 19 points in the second half as Abington Heights took control of a game that it trailed by one at halftime.
The Comets took 18 of their first 28 shots from 3-point range before taking their final 16 from inside the arc.
“At the beginning of the second half, I started taking it to the rack a little bit more,” Tinsley said.
Nealon, a junior point guard, went 5-for-6 from the line in the final 1:26 to finish with 13 points and 4 assists.
Danzig, the team’s only senior starter, hit 3-pointers to open both halves. The second one put Abington Heights ahead to stay. He finished with 11 points and 4 assists despite fouling out with 5:23 to go.
While the rest of his teammates were combining to go 2-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half, Perkins went 3-for-6. He finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
“They just left me open, so I made them pay for it,” Perkins said.
When Danzig fouled out, the Comets had to protect a 48-43 lead against a Mars team that got 34 points, including 27 in the second half, from Notre Dame commit Robby Carmody.
“We said to (Tinsley), ‘you’ve got to take the game over’,” Abington Heights coach Ken Bianchi said.
Tinsley scored seven points, including two off an offensive rebound, in the next two minutes to keep the Comets in front by five. He later added a short jump shot from the left side in transition for the game’s first double-figures lead, 61-51, and his 1,000th career point with 1:40 remaining.
“That was amazing also,” Tinsley said. “I didn’t even know how many I had coming in.”
The title by Abington Heights was the first by a Lackawanna League team since Gerry McNamara led Bishop Hannan, coached by JB Hoops director John Bucci, to the championship in 2002.