NEPA Sports Nation

No. 1s Dunmore, Prep reach final

By Tom Robinson,

SCRANTON – An already small Dunmore lineup got smaller in the second quarter of Tuesday’s Lynett Memorial Tournament opener.

Before the Lady Bucks provided a brief, third-quarter glimpse of how imposing they could be with 6-foot-4 North Carolina commit Ciera Toomey in the lineup, they made it clear that they are just fine in the meantime.

Sophia Talutto led the way with 19 points and a strong all-around game while the Dunmore bench kept the team on track through foul trouble on the way to a 58-42 victory over Scranton at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

Dunmore led by as many as six in the first quarter, but it ended with Tristan Canavan and Jaclyn Brown, the two tallest players while Dunmore has operated without Toomey since last season’s district championship game, sitting on the bench in foul trouble.

“Anna Pacewicz came in and hit two big shots and then Lucy Monahan came in and Soph kept finding her underneath the basket,” Lady Bucks coach Carrie Toomey said. “It made me very comfortable about how I felt about my team, coming out in a big game and playing like this.”

Monahan went 3-for-3, thanks to the easy baskets Talutto’s penetration created, and Pacewicz added four points, making her only shots, as the bench accounted for 10 of the 12 second-quarter points to help Dunmore to a 28-22 lead.

Toomey, the three-time, all-stater, played for the first time since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and undergoing reconstructive knee surgery. She opened the second-half scoring with a 3-pointer and Dunmore ran off seven straight points with her on the floor for less than three minutes.

Scranton never got within single digits again.

Talutto led Dunmore in steals with three and shared the team assist lead of four with Cadie Lewis.

Lewis also had eight points and six defensive rebounds.

“Cadie really stepped up, taking it to the basket,” coach Toomey said. “She played with a lot of confidence.”

Confidence was something the coach was pleased to see popping up everywhere. The Lady Bucks shot better than 50 percent as a team as all nine players who appeared took multiple shots and seven of them hit at least half their attempts.

While Dunmore rolled offensively, it held down Scranton’s potent 3-point attack. The Lady Bucks held the Lady Knights to 28 percent shooting overall and just 5-for-26 (19.2 percent) from 3-point range.

“Coming in, we knew that Finley Bittenbender was a really good 3-point shooter, so we tried to defend her the best that we could,” Talutto said.

Lanee Olson surprised Dunmore with a 3-for-3 first half from long range on the way to a team-high 17 points, but the Lady Bucks eventually adjusted to limit her chances.

Dunmore never trailed.

Talutto scored the game’s first basket. Two seconds later, she scored another.

That’s all the time Talutto needed to swipe the in-bounds pass right under the basket and lay the ball in.

“I knew we were going to press after we scored, so getting in front of that girl is how I scored again,” Talutto said. “I feel like that really set the tone for this game.”

Dunmore took a 13-7 lead before Scranton scored the next five, including an Olson 3-pointer.

Pacewicz hit a 3-pointer with a second left in the first quarter for a 16-12 lead, then hit a runner in the lane 10 seconds into the second quarter to start the strong quarter of bench production along with Monahan.

Dunmore, the No. 1 Small School in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Basketball Power Rankings of District 2 teams, improved to 5-1. The defending champion Lady Bucks play No. 1 Big School Scranton Prep (5-0) Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

No. 6 Big School Scranton (5-2) plays Holy Cross (1-5) Thursday at 1 for third place.

It will be the 10th straight title won by either Dunmore or Scranton Prep. The Lady Bucks have won six of the last eight. The Classics won the year before that stretch started and the other two along the way for three of the last nine.

Scranton Prep 72, Holy Cross 19

Scranton Prep allowed just one first-half field goal and that came midway through the second quarter as the Classics raced out to leads of 19-2 after one quarter and 38-4 in the second.

Jenna Hillebrand, Maya Jenkins and Rita Collins combined to shoot 17-for-24 (70.8 percent) from the floor and 7-for-8 (87.5 percent) from 3-point range while providing 44 of the points.

Hillenbrand was 4-for-5 on 3-pointers to lead with 16 points.

Jenkins made all three of her 3-point attempts while going 5-for-6 to add 15 points.

Collins was 6-for-8 while scoring 13 points. She also had five assists and matched Claire McGrath for the team steals lead of four.

Scranton Prep forced 29 turnovers and turned them into 39 points.

Giuliana Mazza went 7-for-8 from the line to lead Holy Cross with seven points.

The Classics led 45-9 at halftime, placing the entire second half in the running-time conditions of the Mercy Rule.


Ciera Toomey’s return to action:

Follow us on social media