Honesdale's boys varsity basketball team was eliminated in the Class AAA quarterfinals
Tim Wood delivered a memorable quote on the eve of Friday's District Two clash with Abington Heights.
Honesdale's eloquent hoops guru told TWI Sports that there were two ways to view a match-up with the top-ranked Comets.
"You can either look at it as a daunting task or as an exciting challenge," Coach Wood said. "We choose to see it as an exciting challenge and that's the way we're preparing."
As it turns out, the Hornets made this game much more exciting than most pundits might have expected.
Abington built what appeared to be a comfortable first half lead Friday night at Scranton Prep. However, Honesdale refused to be intimidated by the state's fifth ranked Class AAA team.
The Red & Black staged a furious second half comeback, sparked by a deadly perimeter shooting barrage from Chris Nagel. The high-flying senior guard buried seven treys en route to a game-high 24 points.
Nagel and his teammates sliced Abington's lead to four points late in regulation, but finally ran out of steam. JC Show and TJ Murray each contributed a clutch basket down the stretch, sealing the deal on a 63-53 Comet victory.
With this win, Abington advances to the district semifinals and a date with Scranton Prep. The Cavaliers moved on via a 57-24 rout of Pittston Area.
Meanwhile, Honesdale's season came to an end. A scrappy Hornet squad closed out its 2012-13 campaign with a 15-9 overall record.
Abington rocketed out to a quick start in this one, in stark contrast to its last encounter with the Hornets.
Just two weeks ago, the Comets visited Honesdale and found themselves staring at a 10-point first quarter deficit. This time around, though, Coach Ken Bianchi's team worked hard to prevent a recurrence.
Show riddled the Red & Black defense for 30 points in that last regular season contest and picked right up where he left off. In Friday's game, The senior guard dialed up three long distance treys on his way to a team-best 22 points.
With Show leading the assault, Abington carved out a 19-11 lead after one quarter.
Kevin Elwell heated up as well, tickling the twine for two treys and winding up with 15 points. Thanks in large part to this potent 1-2 combo, the Comets dominated the second period and took a 36-20 advantage into the lockerroom at intermission.
Honesdale began clawing its way back into contention early in the second half.
In fact, the Hornets outscored Abington in each of the final two frames but finally ran out of time.
Kevin Miller directed the offense from his point guard position. Honesdale's junior co-captain found the range from the perimter and on the fastbreak, finishing his evening with 15 points.
Freshman Ian Langendoerfer contributed several key plays and wound up with seven points. Senior center Jon Gillow powered his way to a pair of buckets, while Kyle Carney and rounded out the Red & Black attack with two points apiece.
It was Nagel, however, who gave Abington fits.
Chris rained down jumpers from all over the floor and only got better as the game wore on. Despite non-stop harassment from Comet defenders, Nagel still drilled four treys in the fourth quarter.
His last 3-ball pulled Honesdale to within one possession before Abington finally pulled away.
Score by Quarters...
HON (15-9) 11 9 15 18 - 53
AH (23-2) 19 17 10 17 - 63