Trey Koehler could be pleased with just being back on the court when his senior season began at Abington Heights.
The early part of the season proved Koehler could be effective again after missing most of his junior season because of a stress fracture in his foot. Once he played well enough to finalize his commitment to play on the college level at Ursinus, a more-relaxed Koehler was even more productive for the remainder of the season.
“I started a little slow,” said Koehler, a 6-foot-2 senior guard/forward, who was the second-leading scorer on an Abington Heights team that repeated Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2 Class 5A titles on the way to a third straight appearance in the state semifinals. “Since committing there, I’ve started playing more like I used to.”
Koehler, in an interview during the final week of the regular season, acknowledged there was some anxiety around his return to action.
“Coming into the season, I was really nervous, missing my junior year and knowing that was a big deal for getting colleges interested,” Koehler said. “I was just trying to put that in the back of my mind and have the best senior year that I could.”
Hitting from outside and using his strength to post up smaller opponents, Koehler boosted his scoring average by more than three points per game from his pre-commitment average of about 12½ points for the Comets, who finished 26-3.
The team leader in steals was also second on the Comets in rebounds and 3-pointers made.
Koehler had some special performances as the season hit the stretch run. He had a season-high 27 points in a key division win over third-place Valley View.
The Ursinus commit was named PNC Bank District 2 Boys Basketball Player of the Week for the period ending March 2 for his performance in the district’s Class 5A championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Koehler had 11 of his 15 points in the first half when Abington Heights won its eighth straight District 2 title with a 43-36 victory over Crestwood.
“Coach (Ken Bianchi) talked to us before the game,” said Koehler, who also led Abington Heights with eight rebounds in the game to go along with three assists and three steals. “He was telling us, we were not only playing for ourselves, but we’re playing for the players before us who got the streak going and put a lot of time into making it such a good program.
“We’re basically trying to keep the streak going for them and the people who have been supporting us.”
Prior to his injury, Koehler had also been a starter on the 2017 district championship team as a sophomore.
Abington Heights, which won a state title in 2018, was not done after its latest arena celebration.
Koehler helped make sure of that. He opened the state tournament by going 11-for-15 to lead a 63-percent shooting effort in a 72-48 rout of Pottsgrove, finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots.
In the team’s final win of the season, Koehler had a game-high 20 points in a 61-46 state quarterfinal victory over Sun Valley.
The season-long performance put Koehler in position to show off his game, representing Abington Heights in senior all-star games coming up this week.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A successful 2018-19 college and high school season has just concluded for JB Hoops alums and current players. The JB Hoops Blog is recapping the winter seasons of its players over the next two weeks.