Good Saturday to everyone.

It’s been a very busy few days, and I apologize for being slightly late with this information. I know a lot of people have been asking when the newest post hits. Well, we are back it the grind today. I did take a break for lunch, however.

Here’s what we have. How about “The Rivalry?” I know people are probably saying, OK, let’s not overkill this, but the facts are the facts. When Abington Heights and Scranton Prep meet in a tennis match, it’s dramatic, intense and often nerve-wracking to all those in attendance. And there are a lot of people in attendance.

I know it’s hard to picture a large crowd for an event like this, and no it’s not the size of a football audience or a basketball crowd, but there definitely is more interest in this clash than the average Lackawanna League gathering. It’s just a true assessment.

The players really have to rise to the occasion, and try not to be distracted from what is, honestly, a much different atmosphere than they are accustomed to in the regular season.

That’s what made a remarkable comeback by Abington Heights so remarkable. There is a lot of pressure in this match, and the Comets were ultimately counting on newcomers to the lineup to help carry on the championship tradition and the lengthy winning streak.

Scranton Prep seized the early momentum by winning the first set in four of the five matches. That certainly put them in good position overall. Tarquin McGurrin secured the first point for the Cavaliers with a two-set win over Bailey Harris in a battle of unbeaten players, then Rhys Kelly took his showdown with Brian Ostrowski at No. 3 singles. With a 2-0 edge, and leads in two other matches, the Cavaliers were poised or at least positioned for victory..

But, Abington Heights, as it has so many times now against the Cavaliers, rallied.

Abington Heights’ Timmy Christman
Photo by Jason Farmer

 

Owen Holland-Spencer Gilbert took a win at No. 1 doubles to get the Comets going. Then, Timmy Christman won at No. 2 singles in three sets over Jack Habeeb in a very stressful match. That evened things up at 2-2.

Freshmen Rory Harris–Varun Iyengar played poised and overcame early jitters to tie their No. 2 doubles match. Then, they looked like a season team in a 6-0 win in the third set that clinched the victory for Abington Heights.

Here are the final numbers

Singles: Tarquin McGuirrin (SP) over Bailey Harris, 6-1, 6-1; Timmy Christman (AH) over Jack Habeeb, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3; Rhys Kelly (SP) over Brian Ostrowski, 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles: Owen Holland-Spencer Gilbert (AH) over Nick Labelle-Erik Rinkunas, 6-3, 6-2; Rory Harris-Varun Iyengar (AH) over Harrison Oven-Brendan Braatz, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Records: AH 13-0, SP 11-1.

Here are some highlights: 

 

So, now the dust has settled. In the aftermath of “The Rivalry,” the very next day, Abington Heights defeated Western Wayne, 3-2, and secured another undefeated season and Lackawanna League championship.

Abington Heights Comets By the Numbers

8

Straight undefeated seasons in the Lackawanna League

 

111

Straight wins in the Lackawanna League.

 

131

Wins in last 133 matches in the Lackawanna League dating back to 2008.

 


 

POSTSEASON OUTLOOK

OK, some teams — like Abington Heights — have ended their seasons. In addition to the win by Abington Heights over Scranton, there were a couple of others with significant impact on the postseason, which is on the horizon.

On Thursday, Valley View scored a 5-0 win over Holy Cross. The Cougars followed that up with a win over Wallenpaupack to move their record  to 10-3 overall. It’s looking like Valley View is going to anchor in at the No. 4 seed for the District 2 Class 2A playoffs. The Cougars finish with a match at a very tough Delaware Valley team, so nothing is etched in stone.

Holy Cross (9-3) and Western Wayne (9-3) follow the Cougars at the Nos. 5 and 6 seeds. Holy Cross was scheduled to play Delaware Valley today (no report yet) and will finish at home against Dunmore. Western Wayne hosts Honesdale on Monday and will play Mid Valley on Wednesday. Things could get interesting still as teams jockey for position.

In Class 3A, Abington Heights (14-0) and Williamsport (10-0) are both undefeated. If that stays true, one of District 2’s finest, Mike Ognosky, will break the tie with a coin flip for the No. 1 seed. Either way, they appear to be on course to be the top two seeds.

District 2 Standings

Courtesy of piaad2.org

 


 

RANKINGS

There is not a lot of movement in the team or player polls this week. Abington Heights, which finished unbeaten will finish as the No. 1 team. Barring an upset, Scranton Prep’s Tarquin McGurrin is on his way to the No. 1 ranking.

 

TOP 5 PLAYERS

No.1 Tarquin McGurrin.
Photo by Jason Farmer

 

1. Tarquin McGurrin, Scranton Prep (13-0)

  • When you beat the No. 2 player in straight sets, you are anchored in at No. 1.

 

2. Bailey Harris, Abington Heights (11-1)

  • Can’t hold it against Harris, losing to McGurrin.

 

 

3. Timmy Christman, Abington Heights (14-0)

  • When you play with confidence and comeback from a set down in your team’s biggest match, you are a top player.

 

4. Austin Mackey, Valley View (10-2)

  • Having a terrific season for Cougars.

 

5. Jimmy Tressler, Holy Cross (9-3)

  • Has losses to the top players in the poll. .

 

Honorable mention: Mike Felins (North Pocono, 7-5); Jack Habeeb (Scranton Prep, 12-1); Brian Ostrowski (Abington Heights, 13-1); Rhys Kelly (Scranton Prep, 13-0); Tomas Reece (Delaware Valley, 8-2); Adam Long (North Pocono, 8-3); Jack Tuman (Western Wayne, 7-4); Bobby Craig (Valley View, 8-4); Logan Gregory (Holy Cross, 9-3),

TOP 5 TEAMS

2017 Abington Heights Comets

 

1. Abington Heights (14-0)

  • Winners of the Lackawanna League.

 

2. Scranton Prep (12-1)

  • Fell short in upset bid of Abington Heights, 3-2.

 

3. Western Wayne (9-3)

  • Has 3-2 losses to Abington Heights and Scranton Prep.

 

4. Valley View (10-3)

  • Lost to Western Wayne, 3-2; Beat Holy Cross, 5-0.

 

5. Holy Cross (9-3)

  • Has a win over Western Wayne, but a convincing loss to Valley View.

 


 

That is all for today.

The next post will be the final, so I will save the overall singles records graphic for that edition.

Have a great weekend!

ENJOY!