NEPA Sports Nation

Toomey makes first appearance since season-ending knee injury

Dunmore’s Ciera Toomey gets set to hit a 3-pointer in her return from off-season knee surgery. (Zachary Allen Photo)

By Tom Robinson,

SCRANTON – The question is no longer whether all-stater, nationally ranked prospect and future North Carolina Tar Heel Ciera Toomey will get to play part of her senior season with the Dunmore Lady Bucks.

The new question, after Toomey played 2:54 of Tuesday’s Lynett Memorial Tournament semifinal and inspired a 7-0 run that was part of Dunmore’s 58-42 victory over Scranton, is: “When will we see her again?”

Carrie Toomey, Ciera’s mother and Dunmore’s head coach, said after Tuesday’s semifinal that she has not decided yet whether Ciera will play at all in Thursday’s championship game showdown with unbeaten Scranton Prep.

And, Tuesday’s appearance, to open the second half, does not mean Ciera will play a bit more each game as the season progresses.

“It doesn’t mean that,” Carrie Toomey said. “It’s day-by-day, team-by-team.”

For now, mother and daughter were just happy to have Ciera experience being in a game for the first time since the District 2 Class 4A championship game against Scranton Prep at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

That day, a hush fell over the arena crowd when Ciera landed on the floor clutching her right knee.

Tuesday, instead of silencing the crowd, Ciera’s move from the sideline to the floor with four teammates as the second half brought many of the fans to their feet as the crowd grew louder, welcoming her back.

“Hearing that applause was very special for her,” Carrie said of Ciera, who continues the strength-building, rehabilitation process from reconstructive knee surgery.

Before Ciera could get started, Scranton coach P.J. Hughes called his team back to the bench, calling timeout before the half ever began to reset plans.

It all made for what Carrie described as an “emotional” few minutes on the court, “but, in a good way.”

Ciera later posted on her Twitter account: “My heart is so warm. The support is unreal.”

Dunmore was already ahead, 28-22, at halftime when Ciera entered the game.

The first possession got away as Ciera had trouble holding onto the ball while tightly guarded.

On defense, Dunmore switched from man-to-man defense to zone and suddenly the middle of the lane was off limits for Scranton.

On offense, Toomey drew plenty of attention, but that did not stop her from scoring the first points of the second half.

Well-guarded and moving to her left, she put up a contested 3-pointer from a half a step beyond the arc and the top of the key and nailed it, making a 3-pointer on her only shot.

There were no other statistics from her appearance: simply 1-for-1, 3 points.

Toomey’s high screen, however, kept enough eyes on her for Sophia Talutto to take a straight path to the basket for a layup.

Another Talutto basket allowed Dunmore to outscore Scranton, 7-0, building a 13-point before Ciera returned to a seat next to her mother on the bench for the rest of the afternoon.

“She was out there probably a little longer than I thought she was going to be,” Carrie said. “It’s her last Lynett Tournament, so I did want her to get on the floor.”


Dunmore, Scranton Prep to decide another tournament title: No. 1s Dunmore, Prep reach final – NEPA Sports Nation.

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