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HS BASKETBALL: O’Boyle Sidelined; Howanitz Will Miss Season

December 14, 2018
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HS BASKETBALL: O'Boyle Sidelined; Howanitz Will Miss Season

Scranton Prep basketball players picked up most of the slack when Hazleton Area tried to contain leading scorer and all-state standout Leo O’Boyle and they posted a convincing win. Now they must respond, again. Only this time with their star teammate sidelined. Following Wednesday night’s win, O’Boyle, who is committed to Lafayette College, learned that he would be shut down temporarily to recover from a right foot injury. The severity of the injury and how long it will keep O’Boyle out of action is unknown, but he was wearing a walking boot Thursday. The Cavaliers play Father Judge on Saturday at noon at the Diane Mosco Shootout at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster. “We are just trying to stay positive with Leo,” Scranton Prep coach Andrew Kettel said. “He’s a strong athlete and we are hopeful that will get him through this. He is strong willed and is a tough kid, and he has a great support system with this team.” O’Boyle is the second impact player lost in the Lackawanna League this early season. In Valley View’s first nonleague game against Lakeland, Dylan Howanitz suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of his junior season. “It’s obviously devastating, because I have been a three-sport kid my entire life,” Howanitz, 17, said. “It hurts me more mentally than physically that I can’t be out there with my teammates. “I have to stay positive after the surgery and I have to attack the rehab so that I stay on schedule and am ready to go when I get back.” Both O’Boyle and Howanitz had extended football seasons. Scranton Prep won the District 2 Class 3A championship and reached the PIAA semifinals for a total of 17 weeks, which includes the two weeks of preseason camp. Valley View captured the District 2 Class 4A title and played in the state quarterfinals for a 14-week schedule and two weeks of preseason practice. During Scranton Prep’s run, O’Boyle set school records as the team’s quarterback, throwing for 2,413 yards and 34 touchdowns. He had 323 yards passing and three touchdowns in loss to Middletown in state semifinals and finished his career with 3,956 yards passing and 56 touchdowns. Last season, O’Boyle emerged as a Division I prospect as a basketball player when he led the Cavaliers to the District 2 Class 4A championship. He averaged 20.3 points per game, earned Times-Tribune All-Region honors and was selected to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class 4A all-state second team. In two games this season, O’Boyle has scored 34 points in wins over Meyers and Hazleton Area. On Wednesday night, he scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds. His return date has not been determined. “We have a tight group of guys and we will rally around him,” Kettel said. “We have guys who will do their best to keep the ship going in the right direction until Leo returns.” A three-sport athlete, Howanitz has been a key contributor to several district championship teams. He is a two-year starting tight end for the football team, coached by his father, George Howanitz. The Cougars captured a pair of district 2 Class 4A championships in those seasons. In the spring, Howanitz was part of a Cougars team that reached the PIAA Class 4A championship game. During basketball season in his sophomore year, Howanitz was the team’s second-leading scorer with 214 points and 17 3-pointers. Valley View reached the District 2 Class 4A final and the second round of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs and Howanitz scored 26 points in the state tournament. His surgery has not yet been scheduled. “As a physical therapist, you feel bad for the student-athlete because you know the duration of what they have to go through to recover from this injury,” Valley View coach Mike Kurpis said. “Dylan is a three-sport athlete and it’s a huge loss for our team. “We are trying to rally the team around him, and this gives some guys opportunities, but his are some pretty big shoes to fill.” Contact the writer: jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on Twitter

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