WRIGHT TWP. – Nobody can be sure how much the game, or the outcome, may have changed if Sydney Myers was still on the floor for Crestwood.
But the Comets sure had a difficult playoff debut without her.
Time and again, Abington Heights darted down the lane for inside baskets – and more importantly prevented Crestwood from doing the same – during a 52-42 victory Wednesday that sent Abington Heights to the second round of the District 2 Class 3A girls basketball playoffs and knocked Crestwood out.
I don't remember Abington Heights being this physical or aggressive when we played them, Crestwood coach Isiah Walker said.
Maybe that's because Crestwood had the 6-foot senior Myers in the middle for that early-season scrimmage between the two teams.
But since then, Myers went missing from the lineup after she suffered a broken finger in late January, and Crestwood had trouble stopping an Abington Heights club that matched up size-wise.
She's one of our high-energy players, Walker said. She helps control the glass for us.
Without Myers, Crestwood's district playoff hopes spiraled out of control.
That's a big plus for us. She's a tough ballplayer, Abington Heights coach Vince Bucciarelli said of the missing Myers. Sometimes you get a break here and there.
If she was in there, I'm not sure what would have happened.
What did happen was typical of an Abington Heights team that improved to 12-11 but lost seven of those games by three points or less.
Abington Heights disrupted Crestwood's rhythm with a solid, pressing defense, superior rebounding and just enough offense when it needed it.
We're not a good outside-shooting team, Bucciarelli said. We miss a lot of easy shots. If we made our foul shots, we win by more than 10.
Our pride this year has been playing defense.
But a trio of Abington Heights players took turns producing some key points.
Melanie Coles scored six of her 10 points in the third quarter to boost the Abington Heights lead to 36-29; Katerine Rosenkrans staved off a spirited Crestwood comeback by scoring six of her 14 points in the fourth quarter; and Jo Jo Show polished off her game-high 15-point night by scoring eight points in the final period, including six from the foul line.
Little mental breakdowns killed us, Walker said.
Maddie Ritsick nearly revived Crestwood.
The 6-foot-1 freshman scored all 11 of her team-high points over the final eight minutes while trying to rally Crestwood.
Abington Heights 52, Crestwood 42
ABINGTON HEIGHTS (52): Melanie Coles 5 2-7 10, Catie Nealon 1 2-2 5, Katherine Rosencrance, 5 4-9 14, Jo Jo Show 4 9-12 17, Breanna Toro 1 2-2 4, Emma Henzes 0 0-0 0, Chloe Shook 1 0-0 2, Blair Cacciamani 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 19-32 52.
CRESTWOOD (42): Rebecca Rutkowski 6 0-2 12, Gabby Lutz 2 0-0 5, Rachel Ritz 0 0-0 0, Maury Cronauer 0 0-0 0, Carina Mazzoni 1 0-0 3, Taryn Wojnar 2 0-0 5, Maddie Ritsick 4 2-2 11, Deidra Ciavarella 2 0-0 6, Abbie Macko 0 0-0 0, Dallas Kendra 0 0-0 0, Sid Kellar 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 2-4 42.
3-Point Field Goals— AH 1 (Nealon); CRE 5 (Ciavarella 2, Lutz, Wojnar, Ritsick).