NEPA Sports Nation

Lady Bucks close with 25-1 burst

Pictured above: Megan Albrecht dribbles for Holy Redeemer as Amanda Dempsey (10) and Ciera Toomey defend for Dunmore. (Tim Drewes Photo)

By Tom Robinson,

WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Holy Redeemer surged in front twice in the District 2 Class 3A girls basketball championship game.

Each time, Sophia Talutto made sure Dunmore put together the appropriate response.

Talutto scored 21 points and made 5 steals Saturday afternoon when the Lady Bucks shook off a challenge from the Lady Royals to run away late for a 50-30 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

The sophomore guard scored 10 points in an 18-3, first-quarter outburst after Holy Redeemer had scored the first 5 points of the game. She scored 10 more in a game-ending, 25-1 run after the Lady Royals took a four-point lead in the third quarter.

Ciera Toomey provided support in both runs while freshman Jackie Brown came off the bench to also play a major role in the big finish.

Holy Redeemer used a 15-2 run in the third quarter to take a 29-25 lead.

That effort and foul trouble brought North Carolina commit Ciera Toomey back in off the bench quickly in the third quarter, altering plans in her longest outing of the season, a year and a day after she went down with a serious knee injury.

Toomey finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocked shots and Dunmore, which was outscored when she was out, was plus-22 in her nearly 25 minutes of playing time.

“Everybody plays with more confidence when Ciera is in the game,” said Dunmore coach Carrie Toomey, Ciera’s mother. “I coach with more confidence.

“I feel like today was a big step because it’s where it happened.”

Ciera Toomey had reconstructive surgery following the injury suffered in last year’s District 2 championship when Dunmore was a Class 4A team.

Brown, a starter most of the season while Ciera Toomey either sat out or played very limited minutes, was ready when the Lady Bucks found themselves in trouble in the second half.

Ana Pacewicz, another reserve, scored on a drive while being fouled to end a 5:53 stretch without a Dunmore basket. The Lady Bucks wound up with a reverse, four-point play when Pacewicz could not convert the three-point play, but they rebounded and Talutto tied the game with a runner from the left side.

Brown made it 7 points in 31 seconds and put Dunmore ahead, 32-29, going into the fourth quarter when she converted one of eight Cadie Lewis assists.

“I knew the ball would eventually fall and it did,” coach Toomey said.

Talutto had eight points and Ciera Toomey six, including the first four, in the fourth quarter when Brown scored the other four.

Brown set up Ciera Toomey for the first basket of the quarter on a tough finish underneath and Pacewicz found her for another basket that completed a give-and-go.

Megan Albrecht gave Holy Redeemer its only point of the fourth quarter by hitting the front end of a one-and-one.

Brown scored the next four points to make sure the Lady Royals did not gain any momentum.

Ciera Toomey set up the first basket by showing off one of the key additions to her game during the comeback. She reached high to pull down a defensive rebound and pushed the ball to midcourt herself before firing the lead pass to Brown racing into position under the basket.

Talutto finished it off with 8 of the last 10 points.

Jillian DelBalso led Holy Redeemer with eight points.

Albrecht opened the scoring and then assisted DelBalso’s three-point play for a 5-0 lead.

Talutto scored Dunmore’s first nine points, all in a span of 1:23, for an 8-5 lead by the midway point in the quarter.

After Mia Ashton’s 3-pointer made it a one-point game, Ciera Toomey scored 5 points in 20 seconds as Dunmore scored 9 straight for an 18-8 lead after one quarter.

Ciera Toomey had five rebounds in the first four minutes and Dunmore had an 18-10 advantage by the midway point in the second quarter on the way to a 46-26 lead in the game.

Neither team scored for the first 6:05 of the second quarter and the Lady Bucks led 20-14 at halftime.

Amanda Dempsey’s corner 3-pointer gave the Lady Bucks a 23-14 lead in the first minute of the second half.

DelBalso had eight points in the third quarter and was a big part of Holy Redeemer quickly turning the game around.

Ashton hit a 3-pointer, then DelBalso added another before scoring a three-point play to tie the game and spark the 15-2 run to a four-point lead in the last two minutes of the third.

Both teams advance to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament, which they will open Friday against strong opponents from District 4.

Dunmore (22-3) hosts District 4 third-place finisher Bloomsburg (21-6) while Holy Redeemer (17-11) plays at District 4 champion Mount Carmel (25-2) in 7 p.m. games.


Expanded boxscore: Class 3A girls expanded boxscore – NEPA Sports Nation.

Photo Gallery: Dunmore/Holy Redeemer Photo Gallery – NEPA Sports Nation.

Broadcast archive: District 2 Class 3A Girls: Holy Redeemer vs. Dunmore | Basketball | NPFNetwork7 (

Video highlights: NEPA Sports Nation on Instagram: “🦌 Sophia Talutto and Ciera Toomey help Dunmore roll past Holy Redeemer! Championship video brought to you by Burke Stone Supply & Maddock…”.

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