It’s January and it’s snowing.

That’s no real revelation. But this week’s storm is being a real nuisance. First and foremost, the teeth of it didn’t get going until much later than first anticipated, but not before it crippled Tuesday’s boys basketball schedule. So, in addition to there being no game action, it has, at the very least, pushed back another opportunity for Abington Heights coach Ken Bianchi to become the area’s all-time leader in career wins with 758. Abington Heights also had its game last Saturday at Methacton moved to Feb 3.

Last week on Friday, Bianchi tied Forest City legend Julius Prezelski with his 757th win when the Comets upended West Scranton. The Invaders and their legendary coach Jack Lyons presented Bianchi and longtime assistant coach Jeff McLane with plaques commemorating the achievement.

 

Honoring Abington Heights coach Ken Bianchi after win No. 757.
Jason Farmer / Staff Photographer

 

Because the Methacton game was postponed, it appeared that Bianchi would have a chance to reached the 758 milestone at home against Honesdale on Tuesday. Then, with early dismissal of schools because of a threat that snow would create dangerous travel conditions into the night hours, that game moved to Wednesday, which again, is only if weather allows. Nevertheless, this mark will be reached in time. Abington Heights, which wins 80 percent of its games in Bianchi’s career, has 10 games remaining in the regular season and should be a lock to win at least one more the rest of the way. But, to be fair, and out of respect for every program, nothing is a guarantee.

Because of the remarkable success the Abington Heights program has had under his guidance, Bianchi and McLane seem to be celebrating a milestone very few seasons. That’s because they have been. It’s been a rapid rise to sharing the top spot with Prezelski, considering he reached No. 500 in January of 2007. He won No. 600 in the postseason of the 2010-11 season and No. 700 in the season opener of the 2015-16 season.

 

 

 

Coaches

Wins

 

Julius Prezelski

Milford, Waymart, Mountain View, Forest City

757

 

Ken Bianchi

Line Mountain, Scranton Tech, West Scranton, Abington Heights

757

 

Jack Farrell

Scranton Prep

671

 

Bob Gilbride

Scranton Central

483

 

Jack Lyons

West Catholic, Bishop O’Hara, Scranton, West Scranton

478

 

Bill McLaughlin

Mountain View

451

 

Al Callejas

Bishop O’Hara, Holy Cross

448

 

Al Semenza

Old Forge, Wyoming Area, Western Wayne

426

 

 


 

AROUND THE LACKAWANNA LEAGUE

 

 

INSIDE DIVISION I

 

 

Scranton Prep’s Wes Simons.

One of the other reasons the Bianchi pursuit has pushed to this point is that Scranton Prep handed the Comets a 51-45 defeat to start last week at the Xavier Center.

That gave Scranton Prep its fourth straight win in the series and its 29th straight win in Lackawanna Division I. Wes Simons, Leo O’Boyle and Rhys Merritt combined for 41 of the team’s points as the towering front court which averages 6-feet-6 inches controlled the paint.

In addition to its recent domination of its series with Abington Heights, the program is taking over as the best in the Lackawanna League. The Cavaliers seized back the top spot and have spent 23 weeks at No. 1 in the last 39 polls compiled by the staff of The Times-Tribune.

While the Cavaliers will have some tough games moving forward with the season, the next meeting with Abington Heights will be Jan. 30.

 

 

NEW TOP 10

 

 

 

 

Danzig

Abington Heights, of course, fell only to No. 2, where it had been stationed for the entire 2016-17 season. The Comets have not been ranked lower than No. 2 in any of the last 40 polls. Now the Comets need to get healthy in a hurry. Jackson Danzig and George Tinsley, two returning All-Region players are 1-2 in scoring in the Lackawanna League Division I, however Trey Koehler, who had an outstanding PIAA playoff run last season, has been nursing an injured foot. If coach Bianchi had his way, he’d like to get the distraction of the area wins record out of the way as quickly as possible.

 

 

 

Harbin

That certainly opens the door a bit for a team like Scranton, which is at No. 3 in the poll. The Knights have shown to be an explosive enough team offensively to give Abington Heights a hard time when the two meet Friday. Scranton lost 55-51 to Scranton Prep earlier in the division season, and had an impressive win over Valley View and tight wins over Honesdale and city rival West Scranton. Ky’Ron Harbin, who is now a senior, will need to be at his best and even elevate his game if the Knights want to make some noise in the division standings.

 

 

Valley View is a team that had been in The Times-Tribune Top 10 this season through the preseason and a holiday schedule that saw it win the Peter Turonis/NBT Bank tournament. But the Cougars have lost to the Big 3 by an average of 14 points, while West Scranton has lost to them by an average of 14.3 points.

 

 


 

 

INSIDE DIVISION II

 

 

Honesdale’s Joey Scarfalloto

Delaware Valley has surged in the last week and is now a Top 5 team along with Honesdale.

The Warriors have won three of their last four games in the league, which includes wins over Wallenpaupack and Western Wayne, two teams in the poll. Blake Gearhart is averaging 14.8 points a game and 2.6 3-pointers is giving the team the leadership it needs.

Honesdale has three wins in the league which features three wins over Division II opponents. Joey Scarfalloto is averaging 13.6 points a game and Anthony DeGori is throwing in 13.5 points a game.

Now, once the Hornets get clear of Abington Heights, they will travel to Delaware Valley on Friday for a much-anticipated showdown.

 

Division II Titles Since 2013-14 season

Delaware Valley (3): 2016-17, 2015-16, 2012-13

Honesdale (2): 2014-15, 2013-14

 


 

INSIDE DIVISION III

 

No surprise here, the top the standings is chaotic. Every year, it seems, there are playoff games needed to determine the champion. Also, because the small schools still play in halves and award titles (but no trophies) to the winner, then the league resets the records, there is a lot of intrigue.

 

Let’s take a look

 

  • Dunmore: Riding a wave of momentum after reaching the Lynett Tournament final. The Bucks have shot out to a 2-0 start in the division.

 

  • Riverside: That’s right, the Vikings, under the guidance of coach Mike Morgan, posted an upset win over Holy Cross and put themselves right in the thick of the first-half race and sit at 2-1. The last time the Vikings found themselves in a tight race was in 2011-12.

 

  • Holy Cross: Rebounded from that loss to Riverside to win a pair of games and move to 2-1. Among the wins was a triumph over rival Mid Valley.

 

  • Mid Valley: Yes, the defending champions are keeping pace at 2-1. The Spartans have a record of 50-13 in the last six seasons in division play.

 

 

So, there are a total of six games in the first-half regular season.

Among the postponed games from Tuesday is the Dunmore at Holy Cross rematch from the Lynett Tournament. The Bucks won that game, 55-50.

Since, the 2014-15 season, Dunmore has had success against the Crusaders. The Bucks have won six of the last 11 in the series.

DATES

WINNER

12/27/17

Dunmore, 55-50

02/07/17

Holy Cross, 51-39

01/28/17

Holy Cross, 62-51

01/17/17

Dunmore, 44-43

12/29/16

Dunmore, 41-37

02/19/16

Holy Cross, 46-39

02/09/16

Dunmore, 53-34

01/19/16

Holy Cross, 53-50

12/29/15

Dunmore, 51-48

02/10/15

Holy Cross, 54-46

01/20/15

Dunmore 42-32

 

 


 

 

INSIDE DIVISION IV

 

 

After starting the season 0-3 overall, Montrose has battled its way to the top of the Division IV standings. The Meteors have won three straight to open the division schedule, which includes a 12-point win over Susquehanna, which it lost to over the holiday break.

Gilhool

The Meteors have won one division title since the Lackawanna League went to four divisions in the 2012-13 season. This season, Brennan Gilhool is leading the charge by averaging 12.3 points per game, while Jacob Peck is chipping in with 11.1. After a win over rival Elk Lake last week, Montrose is 3-0 in the first-half schedule.

The next challenge will be Wednesday, fingers crossed, with a home game against Forest City. Now this is going to be a much different Forest City team than the one that dropped its first eight games of the year, including back-to-back losses where it gave up more than 80 points a game to Old Forge and Lackawanna Trail. That’s because two-time Lackawanna Division IV all-star Noah Yates is back on the team, choosing to get back on the court after first staying away to avoid injury for football. He has committed to play football at Army.

Jones

Lackawanna Trail is off to a 2-0 start in the division after going 0-8 overall to start its season. The Lions posted wins over Mountain View and Forest City, and have a road game at Blue Ridge and a home game against Susquehanna before having to clash with Montrose on Jan. 23. Big Shawn Jones totaled 47 points in Lackawanna Trail’s two wins.

 

 

 

 


 

 

WHAT’S AHEAD

 

 

Ok, if the weather cooperates. … Here is what the Lackawanna League has in store for fans this week:

 

WEDNESDAY

Dunmore’s Daniel Walsh led the Bucks to a win over Holy Cross at the Lynett Tournament.

Division I
Valley View at West Scranton
Division II
Western Wayne at Wallenpaupack
Division III
Dunmore at Holy Cross
Riverside at Old Forge
Lakeland at Carbondale Area
Division IV
Elk Lake at Susquehanna
Forest City at Montrose
Crossovers
Honesdale at Abington Heights
Scranton at Delaware Valley
Scranton Prep at North Pocono
Mountain View at Mid Valley

 

FRIDAY

Division I

Scranton’s Robbie McAndrew.

Abington Heights at Scranton
Division II
Honesdale at Delaware Valley
Division III
Mid Valley at Lakeland
Old Forge at Holy Cross
Riverside at Dunmore
Division IV
Susquehanna at Lackawanna Trail
Mountain View at Montrose
Blue Ridge at Forest City
Crossovers
West Scranton at North Pocono
Wallenpaupack at Scranton Prep
Western Wayne at Valley View
Carbondale Area at Elk Lake