NEPA Sports Nation

Dunmore chasing, fighting history

By Tom Robinson,

Only in the COVID era.

And, only it seems to the Dunmore Lady Bucks.

Regular-season championships have been followed by just two playoff defeats in five years, yet the Lady Bucks still do not have the ultimate prize to show for their efforts.

Dunmore has won 12 of its last 14 state girls basketball tournament games, but that performance has not yet produced a state championship.

The Lady Bucks try to end that history of near misses Thursday night at 6 p.m. at The Giant Center in Hershey against River Valley.

In more than a century of Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball championships and half-century for girls teams, there have been programs that spent years coming agonizingly close to breaking through.

The addition of the COVID outbreak makes Dunmore’s still-unfilled title pursuit stand out even from most of the teams in that group.

The Lady Bucks have spent five seasons on the brink of the school’s first girls state team championship. Going into Thursday night, the Dunmore girls basketball team could make a strong case for the most successful program never to win a state title, including the past five seasons of a cumulative 121-8 record, including 24-2 in the postseason.

  • The 2018-19 team won four straight state tournament games only to lose in the final, ruining a perfect record and finishing 29-1.
  • The 2019-20 team appeared to be a similar threat for a title when it roared into the quarterfinals only to be stopped, along with the rest of the state, from even competing in the remaining rounds. They were 26-1 with the only loss coming to unbeaten Scranton Prep, another of the teams shut down in the state quarterfinals.
  • In 2020-21, Dunmore never got a chance to compete in the postseason with its 15-1 team. COVID cases within the team struck right before the start of the district playoffs and hopes to move forward in the early rounds with enough healthy and free-from-quarantine players never materialized.
  • Health issues, but not COVID, helped derail the 2021-22 team. Forced to play a classification above its enrollment level by a controversial PIAA ruling, Dunmore then participated in the state tournament without three-time, all-stater Ciera Toomey after a district championship game injury. The Lady Bucks still managed to take a 25-1 record into the state quarterfinals before suffering a one-point loss.
  • This season’s team arrives in Hershey with three losses, but none in a game that Toomey has been able to play more than three minutes.

Going back one more year to when Dunmore reached the 2018 state semifinal only to be overpowered by Neumann-Goretti, the Lacy Bucks are 149-10 and 30-3.

The Lady Bucks are 46-30 all-time in state tournament games, but 0-3 in finals. With the exception of the year they were ineligible because of COVID, the Lady Bucks have won at least two district and one state tournament game in each of the past 16 postseasons.

The state tournament games in the history of the Dunmore girls basketball program:

19782AFirstDelone CatholicW, 44-28
19782ASecondDarby-ColwynW, 70-50
19782AQuarterfinalSusquehanna TownshipL, 60-41
19792AFirstMarian CatholicL, 64-59
19863AFirstAllentown Central CatholicL, 51-48
19873AFirstWest HazletonW, 71-49
19873ASecondPhoenixvilleL, 67-57
19883AFirstNorth SchuylkillL, 62-59
19892AFirstAthensW, 36-25
19892ASecondMinersvilleL, 63-40
19902AFirstWellsboroL, 43-39
19912AFirstWestern WayneL, 46-44 (OT)
19932AFirstGarnet ValleyW, 46-35
19932ASecondTrinityL, 53-41
19942AFirstSt. Pius XW, 54-39
19942ASecondDelone CatholicW, 49-37
19942AQuarterfinalMerion MercyW, 57-53
19942ASemifinalReading Holy NameW, 54-49
19942AFinalCranberryL, 44-43
19952AFirstTowandaW, 57-38
19952ASecondPine GroveL, 43-37
19972AFirstLine MountainW, 51-38
19972ASecondTrinityL, 45-31
20002AFirstColumbiaL, 42-24
20012AFirstReading Holy NameL, 39-31
20022AFirstVilla Joseph MarieL, 57-26
20062AFirstDelone CatholicL, 54-50
20072AFirstHarrisburg Bishop McDevittW, 35-28
20082AFirstDelco ChristianW, 51-23
20082ASecondTrinityL, 41-36
20092AFirstLewisburgW, 40-29
20092ASecondNotre Dame-Green PondW, 41-35
20092AQuarterfinalYork CatholicL, 59-50
20102AFirstTowandaW, 54-43
20102ASecondPen ArgylW, 40-37
20102AQuarterfinalYork CatholicL, 53-43
20112AFirstLoyalsock TownshipW, 52-46
20112ASecondCarver Engineering & ScienceW, 64-61
20112AQuarterfinalDelone CatholicW, 54-45 (OT)
20112ASemifinalMid ValleyW, 51-46
20112AFinalVilla Maria (District 10)L, 62-39
20122AFirstDock MennoniteW, 50-43
20122ASecondYork CatholicL, 54-41
20132AFirstMuncyW, 44-32
20132ASecondYork CatholicL, 50-39
20142AFirstWarrior RunW, 56-52
20142ASecondYork CatholicW, 39-36
20142AQuarterfinalMount CarmelW, 58-21
20142ASemifinalNeumann-GorettiL, 55-30
20152AFirstMount CarmelW, 51-28
20152ASecondCamp HillW, 70-45
20152AQuarterfinalNeumann-GorettiL, 64-61
20162AFirstCamp HillW, 48-36
20162ASecondNew Hope-SoleburyW, 29-22
20162AQuarterfinalImhotep CharterW, 45-44
20162ASemifinalNeumann-GorettiL, 52-26
20173AFirstHughesvilleW, 55-40
20173ASecondSt. Basil AcademyL, 53-42
20183AFirstPhiladelphia Academy CharterW, 45-9
20183ASecondMount CarmelW, 52-47
20183AQuarterfinalImhotep CharterW, 57-42
20183ASemifinalNeumann-GorettiL, 66-42
20193AFirstConstitutionW, 62-14
20193ASecondSt. Basil AcademyW, 47-37
20193AQuarterfinalNeumann-GorettiW, 54-47
20193ASemifinalCarlisle TrinityW, 50-24
20193AFinalDelone CatholicL, 49-43
20203AFirstConstitutionW, 62-23
20203ASecondNeumann-GorettiW, 65-51
20224AFirstShamokinW, 51-25
20224ASecondVilla Joseph MarieW, 62-53 (OT)
20224AQuarterfinalJim ThorpeL, 40-39
20233AFirstBloomsburgW, 64-33
20233ASecondImhotep CharterW, 52-34
20233AQuarterfinalLake-LehmanW, 58-19
20233ASemifinalLancaster CatholicW, 43-37

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