Lady Bucks Fall One Win Short of State Title Game

Lady BucksBy Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore Lady Bucks finished a fabulous season with a loss in the PIAA Class 3A semifinal ending the team’s state title hopes.

The Lady Bucks (28-2) lost to Neumann-Goretti, 66-42, at Freedom High School in Bethlehem Monday, March 19.

The previous season’s state player of the year Jabria Ingram scored eight of her 18 points in the third quarter and Tattana Jones scored seven of her 11 as the Saints (21-7) silenced a Dunmore rally.

The Lady Bucks were down 15 points early in the contest, but had closed to within five points, 29-24, at the half.

The Saints were up, 15-2, less than four minutes into the game.

Then Dunmore junior guard Lisa Tallo passed to Victoria Toomey for a lay-up and a 3-point play. Toomey, who scored 18 points, had all nine for Dunmore in the first quarter.

Tallo scored 10 points and added six assists in the contest.

Dunmore played solid basketball in the second quarter starting with Tallo hitting a long shot after her team was down, 27-12.

Toomey and Gianna Delfino, who scored 10 points and hauled down seven rebounds, each hit a baskets. Toomey hit a 3-pointer to get Dunmore back in the game.

However, the Lady Bucks were hurt by turnovers in the second half and the Saints took over the game.

Plenty of controversy surrounded the Neumann-Goretti team going into the contest.

Diamond Johnson, the team’s second leading scorer in the PIAA playoffs, left her team in Hampton, Virginia, after averaging 33 points per game in 19 games, to join Neumann-Goretti, for whom she had played three games, all in the playoffs. Her fourth game came against Dunmore.

That raised a very serious question about Neumann-Goretti recruiting.

And not for the first time.

The PIAA is in the midst of the approval process to an amendment in its constitution that would address in season transfers like Johnson’s.

To the shock of many, the District 12 committee felt it could not deny Johnson’s eligibility.

Johnson matched Ingram’s 18 points and was a major factor in the defeat over the Lady Bucks coached by the veteran Ben O’Brien.

Johnson came into the game averaging 15.0 points in the three previous playoff games for the three-time defending state champions.

Still, coach O’Brien and the Lady Bucks showed class, offering no excuses for the loss.

Dunmore defeated Imhotep Charter, 57-42, in the Class 3A quarterfinal Friday, March 16, at Freedom High School in Bethlehem. Toomey led the Lady Bucks with 28 points in the win.

Tallo scored 12 points and had five assists for Dunmore. Kelly Quinn scored 11 points. Delfino added five assists.

Dunmore defeated Mount Carmel, 52-47, in the PIAA Class 3A second round game at Hazleton Area High School Tuesday, March 13.

Quinn led the Lady Bucks with 20 points, including a huge 3-pointer in the third quarter, to,lead the team. Tallo added 11 points and Toomey scored 10.

Dunmore totally dominated Philadelphia Academy, 45-9, in the opening round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs.

Toomey led the Lady Bucks with an average of 16.8 points per game this season. Quinn averaged over 11 points and Tallo averaged close to 10.

The Lady Bucks have a lot to be proud of in a spectacular season that ended with only two losses in 30 games.


Holy Cross Crusaders Come Up Short in PIAA Semifinal

Holy Cross team

By Steve Svetovich

The Holy Cross Crusaders splendid basketball season ended in a hard fight.

The Crusaders lost, 69-64, to Constitution, Saturday, March 24, in the PIAA Class 2A semifinals at Freedom High School.

Holy Cross rallied back from a 21-point halftime deficit in the contest, but fell a little short.

Pat Galvin put on quite a show for the Crusaders, scoring more than half of his team’s points. Galvin, always a scrapper, scored 33 points for the Crusaders in the loss.

He scored 27 points in the second half.

Jabari Merritt scored 10 of his team leading 20 points in the fourth quarter as the district 12 runner-up  Generals (20-11) advanced to the championship game in Hershey for the second consecutive year.

The loss ended a 20-game winning streak for Holy Cross (23-7).

Holy Cross veteran coach Al Callejas said he has never been prouder of any group of kids he ever coached.

It was a Cinderella story all season for the Crusaders who played above expectations. But the team, itself, always had big expectations.

And it will go down as one of the best seasons of coaching for Callejas. And he’s had many.

The Crusaders got off to a rocky start in the contest, missing their first 10 shots and 14-of-16 in the first quarter along with committing six turnovers.

Then Holy Cross made its run in the second half.

Galvin went on a shooting spree from all ends of the court. A 3-pointer he hit capped a 13-0 spurt for the Crusaders bringing his team to within six points at 40-34 with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

Constitution led, 46-40, after three quarters.

Then layups by Kieran Burrier and Galvin to open the fourth quarter brought the deficit to only two.

Constitution scored the next eight points, but the Crusaders responded with a 7-0 burst. Five of those points came on free throws by the spunky Galvin.

The gap was only 54-51 with 4:02 to go.

But two consecutive 3-point plays by Merritt sparked an 8-0 Constitution run as the Crusaders began to run out of gas.

But the Crusaders had something left in the tank.

A 7-0 Holy Cross run brought the score to 62-58, with 1:48 left.

However, Jahmir Marable-Williams scored Constitution’s final seven points, including a steal and lay-up with 27.2 seconds left to seal the win.

The Crusaders simply ran out of time.

Tyler Mozeleski scored 12 points and hauled down 13 rebounds for Holy Cross.

Burrier added nine points, but sat out the final four minutes due to a possible concussion.

The Crusaders defeated Math, Civics, and Science, 71-58, in the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal Saturday, March 17, at Liberty High School.

Mozeleski scored 26 points, including five 3-pointers, in the win. He added 11 rebounds.

Galvin scored 20 points. Burrier totaled 12 points. Tom Montefour chipped in with 10 points and five assists for the Crusaders.

Holy Cross defeated Bishop McCort, 61-39, in the second round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs Wednesday, March 14, at Cumberland Valley High School.

Galvin put together a huge all-around effort in the contest, scoring a team high 17 points and adding four rebounds, three assists and seven key steals.

Burrier and Declan Tokash added 13 points each in the win.

The Crusaders easily defeated Northeast Bradford, 71-34, in the opening round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs Saturday, March 10, at the Marywood University Insalaco Arena.

Burrier led the Crussders with 20 points in the win. Caleb Callejas scored 14 points off the bench.

It will be a season to remember for the tough Crusaders.


Toomey Helps Lady Bucks Score District Title, Advance to PIAA Playoffs


By Steve Svetovich

Victoria Toomey scored 28 points in leading the Dunmore Lady Bucks to a 48-44 win over Holy Redeemer as her team won the District 2 Class 3A title Saturday, March 3, at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Coach Ben O’Brien’s team avenged last year’s title game defeat with the win.

The Lady Bucks are now 25-1.

Talented junior Gianna Delfino played a tremendous all-around game for Dunmore as she added nine points, nine assists and eight rebounds in the title win.

Toomey and Delfino and Kelly Quinn combined for 45 of Dunmore’s 48 points. Quinn, averaging 11.2 points per game entering the contest, scored eight points. Toomey and Lisa Tallo added eight rebounds each for the Lady Bucks.

Toomey, a junior, was on the entire contest as she hit 11-of-14 shots in the win.

She came into the game averaging 16.3 points per game and has shined on the court all season.

Holy Redeemer made only 14 of 59 shots against the tight Dunmore defense.

Athletes of the Month - Lady Bucks Toomey

Victoria Toomey helped lead her team to 48-44 win over Holy Redeemer and another district title. (Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography)

Toomey got in foul trouble early in the game. She picked up two fouls and sat the final 1:53 of the first quarter as Holy Redeemer built a 13-10 lead.

But when she came back in the game, the junior stalwart was simply dominant.

Toomey scored nine of her points in the second quarter as the Lady Bucks moved ahead and took a 25-21 lead into the second half.

Dunmore went ahead 32-23 in the third quarter before Holy Redeemer trimmed the Lady Bucks lead to 34-30 after a 3-pointer by Cameron Marcinkowski.

Toomey then hit a key bucket for Dunmore with 12 seconds left in the third quarter.

Dunmore took a 36-30 lead into the final quarter. A 3-point play by Sam Yencha cut the Dunmore lead to 47-44, with 1:49 left in the game.

Holy Redeemer had one final opportunity to tie the game, but Tallo made the play of the contest when she stole the ball, was fouled and hit a free throw to seal the win with 2.6 seconds left. Tallo, averaging 9.8 points entering the game, made the first of two free throws. Her only steal and only point of the game were the game’s biggest.

Maria Borgia and Alexis Chapman also played nice all-around games for Dunmore in a strong team effort.

Yencha, averaging 14.7 points entering the game, led Holy Redeemer with 13 points.

Dunmore defeated Meyers, 56-24, and Mid Valley, 60-27, to get to the district final.

Holy Redeemer defeated Dunmore, 51-37, in last year’s district final.

Holy Redeemer dropped to 22-4.

The Lady Bucks now advance to the PIAA playoffs.


Holy Cross Boys Take Home District Basketball Title

holy cross

By Steve Svetovich

Tyler Mozeleski and Pat Galvin combined for 37 points as the Holy Cross Crusaders won the District 2 Class 2A title, 55-39, over Northwest Area Saturday, March 3, at Mohegan Sun Arena.

And Holy Cross remains hot, earning its 17th consecutive win of the season.

Mozeleski, clutch all season, scored 11 of his game high 19 points in the first quarter of the title win. Galvin, always a producer, scored 18 points in the win. Still, the Crusaders’ stingy defense was the turning point in the big win.

The Crusaders defense forced 14 turnovers in the first half.

Holy Cross forced eight turnovers in the first quarter and held Northwest scoreless for the final 5:11 of the period.

Kieran Burrier added nine points for Holy Cross in the title win. Burrier has been brilliant all season for the Crusaders. Both teams advance to the PIAA playoffs.

Holy Cross, which defended its district title, opens up with District 4 runner- up Northeast Bradford.

The Crusaders finished the first quarter on a 12-0 spurt and a commanding 17-4 lead.

Mozeleski, a junior, was red hot, hitting on five 3-pointers. Four of those 3-pointers came in the opening 16 minutes of the contest.

The Crusaders had a 26-11 lead after the first half after forcing six more turnovers in the second quarter.

basketballHoly Cross veteran basketball coach Al Callejas has stressed defense all season long and it paid off mightily.

Sam Saxe scored eight of his team high 14 points in the second half for Northwest which stayed fairly close until the very end.

Saxe hit a jumper followed by a short bucket by Matt Saxe bringing Northwest to within 16 points, 50-34, but then the Holy Cross defense got tough again.

The Crusaders held Northwest standout Jaxson Yaple to nine points, including only two in the first half, in the contest.  The team then ran its record to 20-6 with its 17th straight win. Northwest fell to 10-15. Callejas was most proud of the Holy Cross team defense following the district title win.

Holy Cross easily defeated Blue Ridge, 63-34, and Old Forge, 45-25, to get to the district title game.