NEPA Sports Nation

Lady Bucks romp past Imhotep

By Tom Robinson,

BETHLEHEM – By the time Imhotep Charter’s Ky’janne Cooper began hitting 3-pointers to begin the fourth quarter, it barely mattered.

Dunmore used extended runs in each of the first three quarters Wednesday night to run over the Philadelphia school, 52-34, in a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 3A second-round girls basketball game.

“We can’t ask for a better time for everything to start clicking,” said North Carolina commit Ciera Toomey, who missed half the season while rehabilitating her knee and just began playing more than half a game at a time with the district final. “I’m starting to feel better, which is a big step for me personally confidence-wise and forming that chemistry with teammates. There’s a bigger squad that gets on the court this year.”

The Lackawanna League Division 3 and District 2 Class 3A champion Lady Bucks advanced to the state quarterfinals where they will have a chance to avenge one of just 3 losses in 27 games this season. They play Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 and overall champion Lake-Lehman, the district’s third-place finisher, Friday at 7 p.m. at Scranton High School.

Sophia Talutto helped the Lady Bucks get there by hitting 5 five straight second-half shots to finish with a game-high 15 points.

Ciera Toomey added 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 3 assists.

“I think about it pretty often, just how amazing it would be to finish this year on a win – at Hershey,” said Toomey, who missed last year’s state tournament after suffering her injury in the district final. “That’s kind of been in the back of my mind all year and now that we’re getting a step closer with every game.

“It’s pretty exciting, but you also have to stay level-headed and focus on the challenge at hand.”

Tristan Canavan added 12 points. Amanda Dempsey chipped in nine points while Cadie Lewis had team-highs of four assists and three steals.

“Tristan has really done a great job for us this season … and Amanda is coming into her own right now,” said coach Carrie Toomey, Ciera’s mother.

Samya Stevens led Imhotep with 12 points while Cooper had 11 to go along with 3 steals.

Cooper went 3-for-3 on 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but the Lady Panthers were just 1-for-10 from long range prior to that and 6-for-28 (21.4 percent) overall through three quarters while the Lady Bucks built an insurmountable, 45-19 lead.

Each time Imhotep Charter got the ball into the paint, its forwards seemed to look at Ciera Toomey and decide to simply through the ball back out to the perimeter.

“We were going to let them shoot outside,” coach Toomey said. “We went with our man, which is our best defense, to start. Then, we decided to pack it in a little bit and make them score from outside.”

Toomey had four points and two rebounds in the first 1:20 and after Imhotep Charter scored its only basket of the first quarter, Dunmore ran off the next seven points, including a Dempsey corner 3-pointer, for an 11-2 lead midway through the first.

The Lady Panthers scored the last two points of the first quarter and the first five of the second to get within 13-11, but that was the only time they got close.

Dunmore, which started the game 5-for-8, missed seven straight shots while going 5:05 without scoring.

Canavan ended that drought with an easy layup off a high-low feed from Toomey.

They reversed roles with Canavan grabbing an offensive rebound and flipping to Toomey for a score from close range. Canavan then converted an offensive rebound herself, making it six straight points and a 19-11 lead.

Talutto’s 3-pointer from the left wing 1:27 before halftime made that into a 10-2, which combined with third-quarter streaks of 9 and 11 points for an overall 30-7 run spanning more than 10½ minutes of the second and third quarters.

The Lady Bucks were creeping closer to another Mercy Rule rout when Cooper’s fourth-quarter shooting cut into the final margin.

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