The Comets of Abington Heights came out on top of the scrappy, physical battle with the Fightin’ Planets of Mars 67-55 on Tuesday, March 27 for their first ever boys basketball state title.
A lot of that came off the back of junior George Tinsley. He came ready to play, finishing with 29 points, eight rebounds, and a pair of blocks, steals and assists. He scored his 1000th point along the way as well. He had 10 points in the first half, but it was a Tinsley show in the second half, especially late in the fourth quarter. Senior teammate Jackson Danzig fouled out with five minutes left and Tinsley knew he had to step up.
“When Jackson went out, George just took over the game,” Coach Ken Bianchi said.
Tinsley was very efficient, making 11-of-14 shots and sinking all but one of his eight free throw attempts, many of them down the final stretch of the game.
Tinsley was at a loss of words after the game simply saying, “Just amazing,” when asked how it feels to be a state champion.
He had plenty of help from his team though. He was one of four players for the Comets to score in double digits. Danzig finished with 11 even with fouling out early. Sophomore Corey Perkins finished with 11 as well, with nine of them coming from downtown. Junior Jack Nealon finished with 13 points, including a pair of clutch back-to-back threes early in the third quarter when the game was still a tight one.
On the other side, Notre Dame recruit Robby Carmody did all he could to try to carry his team to a title. He finished the game with 34 points and eight rebounds. He shot 10-for-17 from the field and found himself getting to the foul line at will. He made it there 15 times, converting on 12 of them. He ended up fouling out before the game was over. Fouls seemed to be a problem for the Fightin’ Planets. Two other players including senior Cade Hetzler and sophomore Michael Carmody fouled out as well.
Mars did have a 1-point lead going into halftime, but it was all Comets in the second half. Mars went on a 8-0 run in the second half to cut the deficit to as little as five, but clutch free throws down the stretch for the Comets extended their lead to a win.
It was a very physical game with bodies hitting the ground hard and often with many fouls being committed. There was a total of 40 fouls committed, 22 for Mars and 18 for Abington Heights. It was a tough battle, but in the end, the Comets were the ones that conquered the PIAA boys 5A state title.