By Steve Svetovich
With tournament MVP Ciera Toomey leading the way, the Dunmore Lady Bucks recaptured the Lynett Memorial Girls Basketball Tournament title with a 46-17 win over Scranton Prep on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Lackawanna College Student Union.
Prep defeated the Lady Bucks in 2019 for the Lynett title.
Dunmore senior guard Moriah Murray, selected to the all-tournament team, led the Lady Bucks with 17 points and hit three 3-pointers in the Lynett title win. Dunmore freshman Sophia Talutto had two 3-pointers.
Ciera, regarded as one of the top 10 high school girls basketball players in the nation, scored 15 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and had some key blocks in the title win.
The 6-4 junior center, who is being recruited by numerous top Division-I colleges, scored 30 points and added nine rebounds and four assists in Dunmore’s 65-30 win over Scranton High School in the Lynett Tournament semifinal contest on Monday, Dec. 27, at Lackawanna College Student Union.
Murray, who will play basketball next year at Drexel University, added 20 points and four assists in the semifinal win. Dunmore senior guard Mia Blume added nine points and four assists. Talutto added four assists.
Daughter of Carrie and Patrick Toomey, Ciera’s sister Victoria Toomey was an all-state center at Dunmore and now plays basketball at Rider University.
Her mom, the former Carrie Bowen, was a Dunmore basketball standout named 1989 female athlete of the year. She started for four years at Franklin and Marshall University and played two years of professional basketball in England. She is currently one of the Dunmore assistant coaches under veteran Ben O’Brien. She is a member of the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
“We were all excited with the Lynett title win,” said Ciera. “It was a great moment that we were able to bring the Lynett Tournament title back to Dunmore. It made the holiday so much better for everyone.”
Articulate and well-spoken, Ciera has an impressive 3.8 grade point average at Dunmore. Her best subject is mathematics. She is a member of TACT, the Health Careers Club and the French Club.
Ciera’s basketball accolades include first-team all-state and two-time All Regional selection and twice first-team Lackawanna League all-star. More honors of the same are expected this year.
The Division-I recruit is also a two-year member of the Dunmore golf team. She was an All Regional selection both years, finishing fourth in the state her first year and sixth in the state in her second season.
The junior standout said she has learned much from Coach O’Brien. “He teaches us to never overlook any team. You can easily win or lose any game. The most prepared team wins. You can never do enough research. It is all about the details.”
The hard-working scholar-athlete said her parents are huge mentors. “They always teach me and my sister to work hard all the time. Hard work pays off. Few things go wrong when you work hard.”
Ciera enjoys listening to music in her spare time and would like to see Olivia Rodrigo, a pop artist, in concert.
She talked about what it takes to excel at the center position in girls high school basketball.
“I’m very fortunate to be gifted with good height,” she said. “I use it in ways to score and find the right moves. I try to make it hard for an opponent my size or smaller to guard me. I closely watched my sister play. I watched her moves and learned a lot from her. I try to apply what I learned from her to my own game.”
Ciera talked about her future goals. “Number one, I want to help Dunmore win as many games and titles as possible. Then I want to work hard to become an All American college basketball player in Division I. I want to graduate with an engineering degree. Then the ultimate goal would be to play in the WNBA.”
Ciera is averaging over 27 points and more than 10 rebounds per game this season and is closing in on 800 career points as a junior.
She absolutely loves Dunmore.
“Dunmore is great,” she said. “I love it all. I have been here going to school since early childhood. I have never had one bad experience.
“Dunmore is a very unique town. We all support each other. Everyone has your back.
“It’s a small sized community and you definitely feel the love.”