End of the Road
By: Connor Lenahan
You know, at this point, it might just be Parkland High School.
Tonight my high school, Abington Heights, played DJ Irving’s old stomping grounds, Archbishop Carroll, in the second round of the state basketball playoffs here in Pennsylvania. I had seen the bracket for the tournament a few weeks back and saw the possibility for this matchup. I also saw the date. I wouldn’t be able to make it. At the same time the final buzzer sounded tonight, I had arrived at an airport hotel. In a few hours, I’ll be heading to Miami. I followed ever minute of the game on Twitter and through texts with the glorious Erica Nealon, biting my nails, contemplating existence, and screaming at (reportedly) awful referees the entire way.
It was tense. It was crazy. It was exciting. It made me feel feels that I didn’t ask to feel. However, it wasn’t enough. Abington fell to Carroll 59-55. This was the end of the greatest season in Abington Heights history. As the dust settles, the Comets went 26-2 this year. To stress their recent excellence, tonight was the fifth time they lost since I began my senior year at AHHS. They are unbelievable.
It’s easy to say the season ended prematurely, or to blame the loss on the referees. That wouldn’t be fair. Archbishop Carroll entered the state tournament as the second ranked team in the state and a looming juggernaut to all opponents it would take on. The fact that little old Abington Heights not only stood tough against a Philadelphia-based behemoth, but damn near beat them, is an accomplishment and a reason to be proud.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. These are my boys. These are guys that, despite living hundreds of miles away, I would follow every day. I love them all. I wanted them to get to that state title game more than anything. It felt like a destiny. In our own right, we were unbeatable. Excluding a game in which Susquehanna Township caught fire like the Hollywood Hills in a drought, Abington didn’t just win, they dominated. They won games by more than 30 points on average. This is no small feat. There is no team in northeastern Pennsylvania that could beat them. This isn’t a challenge, it’s a fact. None of them did.
This might be the end of the road for some of my favorite people on the planet, but shit, this is nothing to be sad about. It didn’t go as planned. That’s okay. I know all too well that plans don’t always go as they’re supposed to. Tonight is another example. Unfortunate? Yes. Reason to disappear from the world? No.
Even though tonight was the final time Nate Hollander, Ryan Kern, Matt Huggler, Ethan Danzig, Joe Carroll, James Sherman, Evan Maxwell, and JC Show will appear in an Abington Heights uniform, they have nothing to be disappointed of. I have talked to people that hail from all parts of Pennsylvania basketball that know Abington Heights by name thanks to the contributions of the eight names above. They deserve all of the recognition in the world for their heart, hard work, and determination the past four seasons for turning Abington into an absolute dynasty.
So, if you would, please join me not in mourning the loss of a season, but celebrating success. These guys are incredible players and people that I am honored to call friends. Like many, I could not be any prouder of them. They gave their all not just tonight, but ever night for years, and made for a hell of an entertaining ride. You couldn’t ask for more.
Here’s to my boys, it’s been a honor having you all. From everyone Abington Heights past, present, and future, we thank you.
Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org