By Tom Robinson
WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Three recent JB Hoops AAU alums were in the spotlight February 28-March 2 when they led their teams to District 2 boys basketball championships at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Leo O’Boyle from Scranton Prep, George Tinsley from Abington Heights and Dimitri Gnall from Wyoming Seminary continued outstanding senior seasons by leading their teams in scoring in the district championship game victories.
They were part of a series of strong efforts by JB Hoops players from the spring and summer of 2018 that were a big part of leading four of the five boys championship teams at the arena.
Scranton Prep had four of its five starters and seven of the eight players it used in the Class 4A championship game victory come through the JB Hoops program.
Abington Heights won in Class 5A with two starters who were part of JB Hoops last summer and another who had been on the team prior to sitting out last summer with an injury.
Wyoming Seminary’s Class 3A championship team was led by two JB Hoops players and had another as the only substitute it used in the game.
Holy Cross also had two starters from the program on its Class 2A title team.
O’Boyle scored 18 points, including the 1,000th of his career when Scranton Prep won its fifth straight district title by beating Nanticoke, 47-41. He had 14 of the points in the second half, including two free throws with 13.8 seconds left to reach the milestone and close the scoring in the game.
“I’ve been out a lot and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get my 1,000th,” said O’Boyle, a Lafayette College commit who missed part of the season with a broken foot. “I didn’t even know I got it until the buzzer went off, which is even better.”
O’Boyle scored eight of his points in the final 6:47 after Nanticoke moved in front for the final time to begin the fourth quarter. He assisted on the only three Scranton Prep field goals he did not score in the fourth quarter.
Mario Rotell, who scored 6 of his 12 points in the fourth, and O’Boyle each went 4-for-4 in the fourth quarter.
Rotell, O’Boyle, Brian Boland the Rhys Merritt were the starters from JB Hoops. Nick Genco, Jake Strong and Michael Skoff were the players coming off the bench.
Boland and Merritt each scored six points. Boland matched O’Boyle for the team lead of four assists. Merritt grabbed six rebounds.
O’Boyle had a team-high eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
Rotell had five steals, all in the first half.
Genco made his only shot and finished with two points, two rebounds and a steal. Skoff made his only two free throws.
Tinsley had 15 of his 20 points in the second half while leading Abington Heights to its eighth straight district title with a 43-36 victory over Crestwood.
The Binghamton University commit also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked five shots.
Corey Perkins led the team with five assists and scored three points.
Trey Koehler, who had been a JB Hoops player prior to sitting out 2018 with an injury, scored the team’s first nine points. He had 11 of his 15 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 8 rebounds, along with 3 steals and 3 assists.
Gnall scored a game-high 19 points when Wyoming Seminary edged Holy Redeemer, 48-47, for the Class 3A title.
Gnall also shared the team lead with eight rebounds.
Jeremy Callahan tied for the team lead with three assists while scoring seven points.
Ethan Meuser, the only substitute used by the Blue Knights, scored two points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots.
Kieran Burrier and Tommy Montefour started for Holy Cross, which pounded Northwest, 46-25, for the Class 2A title.
Burrier was the team’s second-leading scorer in the game with 11 points.
Montefour was the leading rebound with six while also scoring six points.
They each made two steals to lead a defense that held the Rangers to 13 points through 3 quarters.