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Championship teams loaded with players from JB Hoops

JB Hoops players enjoyed a championship season this winter with their high school teams.

Nine of the 14 divisions in Lackawanna League and Wyoming Valley Conference basketball were won with the assistance of significant contributions by players from the AAU program, which is based out of Backcourt Hoops in Scranton.

A half-dozen, regular-season champions, including the four teams regarded as the best in the district, had multiple JB Hoops players in the lineup.

All of the division championship teams are currently in the District 2 playoffs.

The Dunmore girls achieved the only perfect 2018-19 regular season by a District 2 team. They did so with four of five starters from JB Hoops.

Seniors Victoria Toomey, Gianna Delfino and Lisa Tallo are all multi-year starters who have been part of championships each year of their high school careers. Freshman Moriah Murray emerged as the team’s leading scorer.

They are the top four scorers for the Lackawanna League Division 3 champion Lady Bucks, who open their District 2 Class 3A title defense Thursday night.

Elisa Delifino and Anna Talluto are two of the top subs for Dunmore.

Defending Class 5A state champion Abington Heights, one of two District 2 boys teams to make it through the regular season with just two losses, has its top three scorers from JB Hoops along with one of its top subs.

George Tinsley, Trey Koehler and Corey Perkins led the Comets to a perfect Lackawanna League season in their Division 1 title defense. Harry Johnson is a key contributor as the first or second reserve in most games.

Koehler had 19 points and Tinsley 18 Tuesday night when Abington Heights began pursuit of its eighth straight District 2 title with a 71-25 romp over North Pocono.

Both Toomey, who committed to Rider University, and Tinsley, who will play at Binghamton University, are headed to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I programs after their high school careers.

Wyoming Seminary, in Small School Boys, and Scranton Prep, in Big School Girls, join the Abington Heights boys (Big School) and Dunmore girls (Small School) as number-one ranked teams in the Astra Wealth Advisors Super Six Power Rankings on NEPABasketball.com, the website that covers District 2 basketball.

The Blue Knights and Classics are led by JB Hoops players.

Dimitri Gnall was recently named Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3 Player of the Year for the second straight time by division coaches, following his JB Hoops and Wyoming Seminary teammate, Jeremy Callahan, who claimed the honor in 2017.

After repeating as Division 3 champion, Wyoming Seminary won the first WVC Tournament championship behind a pair of big fourth-quarter performances by Callahan in comeback victories. Callahan hit all five of his 3-point attempts while scoring 22 points in the two fourth quarters combined.

Ethan Meuser, another JB Hoops player, came off the bench to score eight points in each WVC Tournament game, hitting six of his nine shots in the process.

Scranton Prep followed up its second straight unbeaten Lackawanna League season and Division 1 championship by opening its District 2 Class 4A title defense Tuesday with a 64-28 rout of Tunkhannock.

JB Hoops players Rachael Rose and Cecelia Collins, the team’s top two scorers on the season, each had 21 points in the win.

They are joined in the Scranton Prep starting lineup by Kathleen Rose. Maria Belardi is often the team’s top sub as a freshman.

Susquehanna matched Scranton Prep’s accomplishment of a second straight perfect Lackawanna League record and division girls championship.

Taylor Huyck, Mackenzie Steele and Bethany Maby are the team’s most experienced players and three of the top four scorers.

Hannah Smith is the second-leading scorer on Wallenpaupack’s Lackawanna Division 2 champions.

The Wallenpaupack boys also won a Lackawanna Division 2 championship with Gabe Springer as the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer.

Springer had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocked shots Tuesday when Wallenpaupack opened the District 2 Class 5A tournament with a 61-52 win over Honesdale.

Nate Kreitzer and Colby Butczynski were the top two scorers for Nanticoke’s WVC Division 2 champions.

Kreitzer set several school records at Nanticoke where he again led the WVC Division 2 champions in scoring and 3-pointers. Kreitzer put the Trojans in the WVC Tournament final against Wyoming Seminary when he hit seven 3-pointers while scoring 26 second-half points to rally Nanticoke from 18 points behind Hazleton Area in the semifinals.

Butczynski joined Kreitzer in leading the comeback over GAR in the division championship game, providing 19 points and 9 rebounds.

Like Gnall, Kreitzer repeated as his division’s Player of the Year in coach’s all-star selections.

Kieran Burrier is the leading scorer and Tommy Montefour came back from an injury to rejoin the starting lineup as Holy Cross defended in Lackawanna Division 3 title.

Wallenpaupack, in Class 5A girls, and the Nanticoke (4A) and Holy Cross (2A) boys open district play Thursday.

Susquehanna begins the District 2-11 Class A Subregional girls tournament next week and, regardless of outcomes there, will meet Forest City for the District 2 title February 28 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

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