Former Dunmore standout named coach of Lady Bucks

By Steve Svetovich

Carrie Bowen Toomey is a basketball lifer.

And a former all-state basketball player for Dunmore.

For years, she has been one of the biggest supporters of the Dunmore basketball programs.

For the past three years she served as assistant basketball coach at Dunmore under Ben O’Brien who last month accepted a position as coach of the University of Scranton Lady Royals.

So it was not a surprise when Bowen Toomey, 51, was named last month as the new coach of the Dunmore Lady Bucks.

“It’s an honor to be chosen,” she said. “I prepared for this for an entire lifetime. I have more to give and I’m very excited.”

Her daughter Ciera Toomey will be a senior forward/center for the Lady Bucks this season. She will begin the season out with a knee injury, but is expected to play under her mom at some point during the season.

Carrie Bowen Toomey poses with her husband, Patrick Toomey, at right, as their daughter Ciera, at center, celebrates her 1000th point with the Ladies Buck basketball team. Carrie is taking over as head coach at DHS this season.

She is committed to play basketball for the University of North Carolina the following year. She averaged over 18 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 67.2 percent from the floor as a junior for Dunmore.

“We are hoping she plays,” her mom said. “If she does, it will be later in the season. She was thrilled about me being named coach though. I have coached her since she started playing basketball. We anticipate she can eventually play this year.”

Another daughter, Victoria Toomey, was a four-year basketball standout at Dunmore and is currently a senior center at Rider University.

Bowen Toomey was a four-year starter for Franklin and Marshall College. At 5-10, she played forward, was a strong rebounder and possessed a terrific jump hook shot.

The Diplomats were MAC-South champs in 1990 with a 25-5 record. During the next three years, Franklin and Marshall won the MAC-Southwesf title, losing in the league championship game each year.

Bowen Toomey was named to the MAC-Southwest Conference first team three years in a row and was the league’s MVP in her junior and senior years. She was named to the ECAC South first All Conference team her junior and senior years.

She was named to the WBCA Mid-Atlantic first team and received honorable mention All-American honors by the WBA. Gazette, the  women’s basketball magazine, named her third-team All-American.

She averaged 13.6 points as a college freshman. She improved to 13.8 as a sophomore, 16.8 as a junior, and 20.1 points per game as a senior.

She finished her Franklin and Marshall career second in school history in scoring with 1,686 points, fourth in rebounding with 821, third in assists with 276, third in steals with 226, fourth in 3-point goals with 54, and third in blocks with 141.

She is in Franklin and Marshall’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

She played professional basketball in England for one year with the Avesta Sheffield Hatters in the English National League. She averaged 14.0 points per game there.

“Being named coach of the Dunmore Lady Bucks is the biggest thrill of my coaching career,” she said. “It’s a great program and we all understand what comes with it,

“Our goal every year here at Dunmore is to win the Lynett title, the district title and the state title.

“I want to make a smooth transition from what Ben did here. And then I want to continue the level of play and success Dunmore is used to every season.”

Bowen-Toomey is a member of the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. While playing for Dunmore, she was the Female Athlete of the Year in 1988-89. She was Scranton Times All-Regional Player of the Year in 1988-89.

She was a part of four straight Lackawanna League South titles as a four-year starter for Dunmore. She was a big part of Dunmore’s District II title in 1986-87. She earned four straight Girls’ Lackawanna Southern Division first-team all-star selections while scoring 1,635 career points and hauling down 1,020 career rebounds.

She is the first female league president in the Dunmore Biddy Basketball League where she coached and served as board member.

She served as assistant basketball coach at Bishop O’Hara from 1997 to 2001 and coached the NEPA Elite AAU team and NEPA Flames AAU team for JB Hoops. She also has experience as a basketball trainer.

“This is a labor of love for me,” she said. “It’s a big job. We all know that. But it’s what I have been doing for my entire life.”

Toomey Helps Lead Dunmore to Lynett Tournament Title

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.”

Dunmore Sophomore Ciera Toomey Earns Second All Region For Golf

By Steve Svetovich

Work hard when no one is looking. That’s the mantra for Dunmore sophomore Ciera Toomey. 

The Dunmore sophomore is well known throughout the area for her basketball skills, but has proven to be multi-talented with her second All Region selection for golf. 

Daughter of Carrie and Patrick Toomey, Dunmore, Ciera earned the first girls’ golf medal for Dunmore High School with fourth place in the PIAA Class 2A tournament posting 7-over 79. 

She won a spot in states by finishing second in Division 2 with a score of 81, then claiming a one-hole playoff. 

She won the Scott Greens Invitational title with 3 over 36. 

Those who follow the local basketball scene, know about Ciera’s accomplishments as well as those of her older sister Victoria and mom, the former Carrie Bowen, on the hardwood. Victoria is currently a sophomore basketball player at Rider University. 

“I was very excited when I heard about my All Regional golf selection,” Ciera said. “There are a lot of other great golfers in this area. A lot of the others considered are my friends.

“Girls’ golf is a team sport. You need three top scores to win as a team. You need to push your teammates and work together to win.”

Ciera said she continued to develop her golf skills through constant practice. 

The hard driving sophomore said her Dunmore golf coach Robert Coyle gives her positive feedback. “He always tells me to go out there and try my hardest and never focus on mistakes.”

Ciera said her parents have taught her a lot regarding hard work. “My parents always tell me to work hard when no one is watching. And you should want to work even harder when no one is looking. They tell me if you work hard all the time, then things will come easier. Practice as much as possible. Work hard when no one else is.”

As a freshman forward-center on the Dunmore Lady Bucks basketball team last season, Ciera was one of the league’s leading scorers averaging over 16 points per contest. She also averaged over seven rebounds per game. The Lady Bucks playoff run was halted due to COVID-19.

Ciera, confident and well spoken, said she was introduced to golf at a young age. “I am lucky,” she said. “My dad introduced me to golf when I was in the second grade. I learned all the basics from him and have been playing golf for eight years now.”

The sophomore scholar-athlete has an impressive 97 academic average and is a member of the French Club. Her best subject is math. 

A high achiever by nature, Ciera is undecided about a future college. However, she wants to continue her basketball career and possibly study engineering in college. 

Ciera was working hard in practice to prepare for the Dunmore Lady Bucks basketball season when more statewide COVID restrictions were imposed, halting workouts until at least January 4. 

“We had four days of basketball practice and then it was cut short,” Ciera said. “We are supposed to start back after January 4. I think there will be a basketball season. We are all remaining positive.” 

Ciera, when she finds the time, enjoys listening to music. She likes Labrinth, a pop music artist. 

Thought provoking and intelligent on and off the golf course and hardwood, Ciera said she loves Dunmore. “I have been on this campus since elementary school and love it. The Dunmore school district and community itself is unmatched. The support you get for sports at Dunmore is unmatched. The teachers and coaches are extremely supportive. I love this town and this community.”