Lady Bucks Win Third Straight Lynett Tournament Title

LadyBucks2017-18-IMG_8892

Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Steve Svetovich

Coach Ben O’Brien and his Dunmore Lady Bucks proved once again that defense wins.

Dunmore won its third consecutive Lynett Memorial Girls Tournament, 45-29, over Abington Heights Friday, December 29, at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

The Lady Bucks are the first team in the 15-year history of the girls tournament to win the crown three years in a row. It is the team’s fifth overall title.

Coach O’Brien praised his team’s defensive effort following the win. He was especially proud of the communication the players showed on defense.

Dunmore held the Lady Comets to only 20 percent shooting in the first half.

Dunmore’s Victoria Toomey, the tournament MVP, and Lisa Tallo scored 28 of the 45 points. Toomey and Tallo scored 14 points each in the title win.

Gianna Delfino, who earned all-tournament honors, added nine points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in playing a brilliant all-around game.

Dunmore senior point guard Kelly Quinn added eight points for the Lady Bucks. Senior Maria Borgia scored the remaining two points for Dunmore.

Dunmore ran its undefeated record to 8-0 with the title win.

The score was knotted, 7-7, when the Lady Bucks went on an 11-point run pushing Dunmore to a 18-7 lead. Toomey scored eight of her 14 points in a five-minute span during the run.

The stingy Dunmore defense held Abington to 5-for-25 shooting in the first half.

Toomey led the Dunmore defense with 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Delfino hit a pair of clutch free throws in the third quarter for the Lady Bucks preventing Abington from cutting the Dunmore lead to less than double digits.

Hannah Kowalski, a member of the all-tournament team, led Abington with 10 points. However, the tough Dunmore defense led by Toomey kept her from getting to the hoop often.

The loss dropped Abington, coached by Deanna Klingman, to 5-4.

The Lady Bucks defeated Scranton, 53-30, in the semifinal game.Wednesday, December 27, at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

Delfino led a balanced Dunmore scoring attack with 12 points.

Toomey scored 10 points. Freshman Anna Talutto added nine points and five rebounds. Quinn scored eight points. Alexis Chapman scored five. Tallo added four points.

Delfino, playing her usual all-around game, hauled down a game high 11 rebounds against the Lady Knights.

Dunmore had a 4-2 lead early in the game, but then scored the next 11 points. The scoring run included a 12-foot bucket by Toomey and Talutto hitting on a 3-pointer that swirled around the hoop before dumping in.

Dunmore had a 15-7 lead after the first quarter. The Lady Bucks started the second quarter with a 10-2 run. Talutto sparked the end of the first half with a nifty last second play, passing to Chapman who hit a quick 3-pointer for a 31-13 halftime lead.

The Lady Bucks never looked back.

Shelby Funchess led the Lady Knights with 13 points. Colette Mulderig added 10 points.

Scranton’s record dropped to 4-3 after the loss.

Dunmore, with its pin point passing, had 15 assists on its 21 field goals in the win over Scranton.

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Athlete of the Month: Victoria Toomey

Victoria ToomeyBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore junior Victoria Toomey has basketball in her blood.

Her mom, Carrie Bowen Toomey, was a Dunmore High School basketball standout and four-year starter at Franklin and Marshall College where she earned league MVP honors in her final two years. She is a member of the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

The apple is not falling too far from the tree.

Daughter of Pat and Carrie Toomey, Dunmore, Victoria, 16, was named tournament MVP as she led the Dunmore Lady Bucks to a 45-29 win over Abington Heights in the final game of the Lynett Girls Memorial Basketball Tournament.

Victoria, 16, scored 10 points in Dunmore’s 53-30 win over Scranton in the Lynett Tournament semifinal contest. She scored 14 points in Dunmore’s 45-29 win over Abington Heights in the clincher. She played outstanding defense in both games as Dunmore ran its record to a perfect 8-0 under coach Ben O’Brien.

The consummate team player, her reaction to earning tournament MVP honors was not surprising. “It was great and really exciting,” she said. “We were working so hard during the games that I really didn’t think about it. We were all thinking about the plays that had to be made.

“Earning MVP honors was just a nice extra.”

The scholar-athlete has a 95 academic average at Dunmore. Her favorite subject is history.

Victoria is a member of the Spanish Club, Earth Club, Art Club and TACT Club.

She commented on the team’s Lynett title, the third in a row for Dunmore. “We have just been getting better every game,” she said. “Everything just came together for us in that last game. We were working on our defense a lot in practice. The defense is getting better, We played great defense in the final. We communicated very well as a team. We still have some work to do to improve the defense even more.”

Victoria said she has learned a lot from coach O’Brien. “He keeps us very level headed on the court. He teaches us to work out everything on the court through communication. We can work through any problem. That is what he preaches to us.”

The stalwart center said her parents taught her a lot about the game. “They tell me to always do my best even on an off night shooting. They tell me to continue working hard and good things will happen.”

Victoria talked about what it takes to be a good center in high school basketball. “You need to be able to change your direction one way or another when moving to the basket. You need to make opponents score over you on defense.”

Outstanding on both ends of the court, Victoria started playing as a pre-schooler in Dunmore Biddy Basketball leagues. Her mom is president of the Dunmore Biddy Basketball League.

She talked about her future goals. “I want to play basketball in college. I’m not sure where I want to go yet. I am thinking about pre law. I want to enjoy college basketball and then graduate and be successful at work someday.”

A three-year member of the Dunmore Lady Bucks, Victoria likes listening to music in her spare time and would like to see Alicia Keys in concert.

She is loving her experience at Dunmore High School.

“I love Dunmore,” she said. “It’s a great town and the community supports the sports teams. It’s a tight knit community. The teachers and coaches at Dunmore are the best. I love going to school at Dunmore. It is a great experience.”

Dunmoreans of the Year: 2017-2018 Dunmore Bucks Football Team

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Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Steve Svetovich

Congratulations to the 2017 Dunmore Bucks football team, our Dunmoreans of the Year.

Dunmore, led by veteran head football coach Jack Henzes, won the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III title and fourth consecutive District 2 Class 2A crown.

Dunmore finished the season 14-1 after losing to eventual state champion Southern Columbia in the semifinals.

The 14 wins tied for the most in team history.

The 14-win season was the fourth in Dunmore’s history.

And the 14-win unbeaten streak was the longest in team’s history, beating the 1985 Eastern Conference team that finished 13-0.

Only the Valley View Cougars, which won 15 games in its state title run in 1992, won more games in a single season.

Jerry Longo and Michael Muracco are both members of four straight District 2 championship winning teams — a run that began in 2014 for the Bucks.

The icing on the cake came late last month when Shoemaker, a two-way starting lineman, was presented the prestigious Fiore Cesare Award and Scholarship. The Scranton Chapter of Football Officials and Peoples Bank Security presented the standout senior with the award at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.

Shoemaker is the fourth Dunmore player to win the award, joining Brett Trichilo, Miller Holmes and Michael Perry.

Shoemaker also earned All Region honors and his second berth on the Class 2A all-state team. He will continue his playing career at Monmouth University.

Dunmore’s Jerry Longo, Shoemaker, Stevs Borgia, Darcy and Nate Fangio were all named to the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III Coaches’ All-Star first team offense.

Dunmore’s George Mesko, Luke Yanisko, Shoemaker, Fangio and Borgia made first team defense.

Cristian Buckley rushed for 140 yards on 17 carries in Dunmore’s 35-6 win over Newport in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs. Darcy fired a 59-yard touchdown pass to Fangio in the win.

Dunmore moved its record to 14-0, with a 23-20 win over Ligonier Valley in the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal at Hershey. The win tied the school record for consecutive wins in a season.

Darcy completed 5-of-10 passes in the win. He tossed 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Noah O’Malley.

Dunmore’s Kyle Harrity made the key play in the game when he blocked a punt for a safety giving the Bucks a 16-14 lead five minutes into the third quarter.

The Bucks then scored off the free kick, with Buckley cutting up the middle after a cut to the right for a 24-yard touchdown jaunt.

It was a football season the town of Dunmore will never forget.

The full team roster is as follows: Sean Pietruszkiewica, Mark Rinaldi, Luke Yanisko, Noah O’Malley, Thomas Lewis, Greg McDade, George Mesko, Caleb Kilmer, Steve Borgia, Gavin Darcy, Nate Fangio, Nick Stanco, Cristian Buckley, Joe Talutto, Charles Valvano, Billy Donvito, Kyle Harrity, Alex Reese, Frank Damiano, Jake Kalinowski, Tyler Summa, Anthony Santarsiero, Anthony Golden, Pat Donvito, Alec Yanisko, Louis LaCapra, Patrick Burke, Jake Sawka, Nick Shoemaker, Rocco LaCapro, Anthony Kashmer, Jerry Longo, Bobby McMynne, Seamus Cadden, Michael Muracco, Kris Patel, Mike Gianetta, Tyler Overholtz and Colby DeSando.

Doin’ Dunmore: Wishes for the New Year

nyBy Steve Svetovich

The annual New Year’s wish list began with the January 1991 issue of The Dunmorean.

It’s time for the 28th New Year’s wish list…

Here goes: an elephant back at Nay Aug Park…Maroni’s pepperoni pizza in West Side…good health to Carmen, proprietor of Maroni’s Pizza…a chili burger from Carbondale’s Carawana Diner…breakfast at Katrina’s in Dickson City…a German brownie from Minooka Bakery…crumb cake from Cwikla’s in Avoca…Mickey Gannon’s wings…a Hank’s hoagie in Green Ridge made by Tommy Owens…

Tommy Owens flinging a whiffle ball like old times…the return of the peanut stick at Krispy Kreme…Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton slugging over 100 homers for the New York Yankees…Yankees shortstop Sir Didi Gregorius as an all-star starter…Dunmore’s Joe Tomko back in politics…health and happiness for Dunmore outgoing mayor Patrick “Nibs” Loughney and his wife Donna…good health to Dunmorean publisher John Hart and his wife Maureen…a Dunkin Donuts in Forest City…

Nicholas Pizza in Green Ridge…Nardozzi’s Pizza in Dunmore…New York Giant season tickets for former Dunmore councilman Paul Nardozzi…good health to my friend Stella Nardozzi of Dunmore…Former Scranton mayor Jimmy Connors singing Johnny B. Goode…a special place in Rock N’ Roll Heaven for Tom Petty, David Bowie and Chuck Berry…Sam the Greek back in business…Sam the Greek’s rice pudding…a Friday night at Legends in Dickson City…Eva Longoria…Eynon’s Gary Ruby back in baseball…Mick Jagger singing “Satisfaction” at 76…Keith Richards alive at. 76…

Pete Rose eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame…breakfast served by Shelly at Fortissimo’s in Taylor…Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Omar Vizquel, Edgar Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield, Johnny Damon and Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff in the National Baseball Hall of Fame…Kenny Anderson in the Pro Football Hall of Fame…a Bob Dylan concert…Shania Twain anywhere…continued work reforming prisoners from Pastor Tom Duggan….lower real estate taxes…less pot holes…a lower Scranton wage tax…a lower Scranton garbage fee…more community minded people like Dunmore councilwoman Carol Scrimalli…no domestic violence…Carly Simon at the Kirby Center…

Nina’s boneless wings in Dunmore…breakfast at Marie’s Diner in Old Forge…a Keystone Lunch Texas wiener from Green Bay Packers fan Franco in West Side…a trip to MACE in West Side…a Coney Island hot dog…the return of cassettes…a walk at McDade Park…a hoagie from West Side Flava’s…a fresh Blue Moon draft beer…good health for my great friend and mentor Bill Hoppel who always taught me to look at the bottle as half full and nothing ventured, nothing gained…

Peckville’s Chuck Morris back on the saxophone…more band jobs for my dad and his band, The Fabulous Fortunes…my dad on drums…Jack Meade on sax…Billy Vargas on bass…Ed Kosmahl, Vince Parise, Tom Gavern and Roger Finnerty on guitar…Jimmy Tigue on the keyboard…a reunion of the original Fabulous Fortunes with my dad, Art Stanton, Billy Woelkers and Johnny Cognetti…more band jobs for my son Ryan’s band, The Feels…a CD with original recordings from The Feels…my son Dylan in the outfield for the Marywood University baseball team…

An omelet from Marty at the Brunch House in West Pittston…West Scranton’s Nick Ivanoff healthy and playing college baseball…Mike Brunetti’s chilli…my dad’s chilli…my dad’s pizza…a gyro from Ganghi Pizza in Throop…chicken and gyro with rice from Crown Chicken in South Side…soup and salad from Olive Garden…Dunkin Donuts coffee…Cat Stevens in concert…Cher…Barbara Eden in a Jeannie bottle…

A summer Friday night at the Waldorf Tiki Bar…a trip to Asbury Park, New Jersey…a night at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park… Robert Plant in concert…another season for Bartolo Colon…Alyssa Milano anywhere…a trip to Greece…Brian Wilson back at the Kirby Center…my dad ‘s Greek stuffed grape leaves…at least five more years at the helm for Dunmore football coach Jack Henzes…

Cooper’s Maryland crab bisque soup…a walk in the Plot in Green Ridge…a special place in Heaven for late Dunmore community activists Addie Michalek, Carmel Arnone, Blanche Shaw, Fritz Voytek, Al Frioni, Sr.; James McHale, Sr. and Leonard Verrastro…Late Dunmore DJ Billy Weller spinning discs in Heaven…a Pappas Pizza grinder…Starbucks coffee…a trip to The Creamery in Old Forge…The Hawley Winterfest…Happy Days reruns…Lori Loughlin…a visit with Tim Wagner at his sporting goods store in Green Ridge…The Wannabes live…Jennifer Lopez…The Sperazza Band live…Twilight Zone marathons…

Green Ridge pizza…Laverne and Shirley…Betty White back on TV at 97…Mary Tyler Moore reruns…a bounce back season for local Mets fan Steve Gall…a return to health from back ailments for former U of S tennis star Paul “Saki” Wysocki…good health to my Aunt Stella and my late mom’s best friend Annette…Paul McCartney back at Hershey Park…a Springsteen concert anywhere…Thunder Road…Bob Seger live…another Rolling Stones tour…

Breakfast at Neen’s Diner in North Scranton…a trip with my boys to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY…another season for Ichiro…Brett Gardner being named Yankees captain…more of Vince Carter and Manu Ginobli…a Sirius-XM Radio in every vehicle…MLB talk radio…Dan Patrick back with Rob “The Nasty Boy” Dibble on sports talk radio…Larry King doing interviews again…Carol Burnett hosting Saturday Night Live…Stuttering John and Jackie the Jokeman back with Howard Stern…

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes back at the Scranton Cultural Center…playing time, points and assists for my niece Livvy at Scranton High…a beautiful high school graduation for my niece and Godchild Mia…success for my nephew George as president of his sixth grade class and a special place in Heaven for his late friend Zach…health and happiness for my brother George and his wife Maria…a special place in Heaven for Maria’s late brother, Nick…less road rage…less hate…no racism…little baby ducks, old pickup trucks and tomatoes on the vine…lots of clean, cold spring water to cleanse the system…

A message of love to my late grandmothers, former in-laws and uncles Art, Gus and Wally in Heaven…health, happiness and contentment for my sister Denise…great health and happiness to my dad, the leader of The Fabulous Fortunes…a most special place in Heaven for my late mom who always told me to take a chance…many nights out creating memories with my special female friend, Brenda Cavalier…a special place in Heaven for Brenda’s late son, Daniel…my son Ryan on guitar, drums and piano…my son Dylan stealing bases and chasing fly balls in center field…great success, happiness and love to both of my sons and to their mom…peace, love and hope.

Life is short. Happy New Year, everyone.