Dottie Bogumil, mother of Eric Bogumil, hugs her son after Crestwood’s victory over Holy Redeemer Friday at King’s College.FRED ADAMS/THE TIME LEADER
Holy Redeemer’s Mike Desciak takes a shot against Crestwood Friday night at King’s College.FRED ADAMS/THE TIME LEADER
WILKES-BARRE – The ball wasn’t supposed to be in Mike Abramcheck’s hands in the final seconds of Friday night’s District 2 Class 3A championship game.
Crestwood was sure glad it was.
A wide-open Abramcheck rebounded a missed shot by teammate Adam Fazzini and scored the game-winning basket with one second remaining as the Comets captured their fifth district championship in six seasons with a wild 44-42 win against Holy Redeemer at King’ College.
Redeemer’s Zach Redding nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 42-42 with 1:04 remaining. Crestwood head coach Mark Atherton decided to hold the ball for the last shot. And he put the ball Fazzini’s hands.
With time running out, the two-time all-star was triple-teamed by Holy Redeemer and was forced to put up an off-balanced shot with less than 10 seconds remaining. The ball glanced off the bottom of the backboard.
Right into the hands of Abramcheck.
“I was pretty much wide open for the rebound,” he said. “The rebound didn’t look like it was coming my way, but thankfully it did. (After the basket) I was ecstatic. It’s a great feeling.”
The final play worked perfectly, joked Fazzini, who finished with 19 points.
“It was a pass to Mike,” said the Stonehill College-bound senior, with a laugh. “I was off balance, but I knew had to get a shot off. Thank God he was there to put it in.”
Early in the game, it didn’t appear as though the second-seeded Comets (22-5) would need late-game heroics to capture another district championship.
Junior Eric Bogumil was on fire early, scoring all of his 11 points in the first five minutes as Crestwood raced out to an 18-5 lead. The points included three 3-pointers in a span of just 1:34 seconds.
“One thing we thought we had coming into the game was Eric Bogumil, who could possible pull the big guy (Redeemer 6-foot-10 center Pete Alexis) out of the lane. And if he didn’t come out, we told Eric to take the shot. He was a key right off the bat.”
Despite being down 13 points with less than six minutes remaining in the first half, third-seeded Holy Redeemer wouldn’t go away. Led by the inside play of Alexis, the Royals used a 10-0 lead to end the second half and close to gap to 24-20 at halftime. The sophomore center finished with a game-high 22 points and 14 rebounds.
“We were able to get the ball down inside,” said Holy Redeemer head coach Mark Belenski. “I’m proud of the effort by our kids. That’s how we’ve been all year. We’ve fought and fought and fought. We just ran out of minutes. If that ball doesn’t hit the backboard, it goes out of bounds and we go to overtime.”
Holy Redeemer’s run continued early in the third quarter, with the Royals (19-8) scoring the first four points and tying the game on an Alexis putback with 4:42 remaining. The game was tied four more times in the second half, but Redeemer was never able take the lead.
“We knew they were going to make a run,” said Fazzini, referring to the Royals. “They have a great team and Pete (Alexis) is a great player.
“I’ve been here for four years and I’ve played in four championship games. This is our third championship. It’s a great feeling.”
The PIAA Class 3A state playoffs begin Friday. Crestwood will play District 3 fourth seed East York (25-4) and Holy Redeemer will face District 3 No. 3 seed Susquehanna Township (22-5). Both games will be played at times and sites to be determined.
CRESTWOOD (44): Fazzini 6 5-6 19, Bogumil 4 0-0 11, Abramcheck 3 0-0 7, Popocwyz 1 0-0 2, Vega 0 1-2 1, Lasko 1 0-0 2, Halowich 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 6-8 44.
HOLY REDEEMER (42): Alexis 10 2-4 22, Redding 2 2-2 7, Carr 2 0-0 4, Ell 1 0-0 2, Zurek 2 0-0 4, Desciak 0 0-0 0, Sam 1 0-0 3, Ruch 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 4-6 42.
3-Point Field Goals— CREST 6 (Bogumil 3, Fazzini 2, Abramcheck); HR 2 (Redding, Sam)