DHS Basketball Team Shows Resilience During Pandemic

By Zack Albert
Dunmorean Intern

To those who are from this borough, the Dunmore High School Bucks and Lady Bucks provide a special energy through their academics, athletics, and extra-curricular clubs. Whether it is the marching band playing for the athletes, the cheerleading team pepping up  the other students to cheer for the athletes, or the play of the athletes themselves– these  students and the staff take their part in their school community seriously. 

As athletic seasons are continuing in 2021, the players, coaches, administration, and parents have shown remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic. 

The completion and success of the 2020 football and volleyball seasons are examples of everyone accepting the responsibilities involved in keeping everyone as safe as possible while setting a foundation for upcoming winter sports seasons. 

Going back to an earlier interview with superintendent John Marichak, the same comments he mentioned then continue to remain true as we reach the stretch of the 2021 basketball season.

 “The guidelines provided by theCDC, federal, state, and local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic are part of ensuring our students, staff, and faculty remain safe. We also have implemented other recommendations through the diligent work of our school board, athletic directors, Mark Finan, Timothy Hopkins, Maureen Burke, and our maintenance staff,” Marichak said then. “All have been phenomenal in getting our academic and athletic seasons executed as we have thus far, while keeping the safety of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront. 

“Though challenges existed in all phases throughout this pandemic, the offseason workouts were able to occur, and we are excited for the regular season to start. Not having spectators will be tough for the students, but they know the community will be behind them.”

 The Lady Bucks have won all three of their league games thus far, including handing Riverside their first defeat of the season. The Bucks have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. 

Moriah Murray (15.0 ppg), Ciera Toomey (13.2 ppg), Mia Blume (8.6 ppg), and Anna Talutto (8.2 ppg) lead the Lady Bucks in scoring. Kevin Walsh (13.8 ppg), Frank Ruggiero (9.8 ppg), and Dom Temperino (8.8 ppg), lead the Bucks in scoring. 

The Lady Bucks have been great at the free throw line, 70.9% (22 FTM -31 FTA), with the Bucks a bit lower at 55.0% (22 FTM – 40 FTA). 

Both teams have their second game against Riverside to start the month, followed by upcoming rivalry games at Holy Cross, Lakeland, and Old Forge. In their latest wins against theVikings, the Bucks and Lady Bucks used their tenacious offensive and defensive rebounding to not let Riverside gain any sizeable advantage. 

The Lady Bucks’ defense in the first half while getting points on the other end was the difference, as the second half was deadlocked (23-22 scoring in the second half). 

The Bucks’ defense in the fourth quarter was the difference in their win over the Vikings as they held Riverside to 7 points in the quarter (31-21 second half scoring). Dom Temperino’s game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds led the way for the Bucks. 

A strong second half of the season is possibly in the works for the Bucks and Lady Bucks, and the Dunmore community is proud to support them through these challenging times!

Athlete of the Month: Cristian Buckley

By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore senior tailback Cristian Buckley is making the most of a short season.

With the regular season shortened to five games due to COVID-19, the senior stalwart totaled over 1,000 rushing yards in just five regular season games en route to Dunmore capturing a seventh consecutive District 2 title.

Cristian, 18, rushed for 208 yards on 18 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown run with 29 seconds left in the first half that broke a 15-15 tie in Dunmore’s 57-15 route over Riverside Friday, October 30, at Dunmore.

With Lackawanna Trail’s loss the following day to Old Forge, Dunmore earned the District 2 Class 2A title and a trip to the state playoffs. 

Cristian rushed for an astounding 313 yards in Dunmore’s first win over Wallenpaupack. He also rushed for 212 yards in the Bucks win over Mid Valley, giving the senior stalwart three games of over 200 yards rushing. 

Son of Connie and Michael Buckley, Cristian said he is hopeful of playing Division I college football. He applied to Bryant University in Rhode Island where he hopes to be accepted, play football and study business management. 

The star tailback said he has learned a lot from Dunmore head football coach Kevin McHale. “He teaches us not only about football, but about life and life lessons,” said Cristian. “He teaches us how to overcome adversity and never give up.”

Cristian said his parents also teach him to never give up.

The quick, explosive back has six touchdowns, five rushing and one receiving, this season. He now has over 3,000 career rushing yards. 

“It was great getting to 1,000 yards in a five game season,” he said. “It was my first year rushing for 1,000 yards. But I could not have accomplished this without my teammates. I have a great offensive line and our fullback, Karl Kincel, is an outstanding blocker.”

He talked about what it takes to excel as a tailback in high school football. “It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. You also need to be a leader on and off the field.”

Cristian said he has worked hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I concentrated more on my studies and worked a lot.” The senior scholar-athlete maintains an academic average in the mid 90s and works at Schautz Stadium, Dunmore.

He is Vice President of the Health Careers Club at Dunmore.

“I want to play football at the college level, hopefully Division I,” he said.

“My goal is to be successful in life.”

Cristian enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see Lil’ Wayne in concert.

The senior football standout said he will play basketball for the first time in his high school career this year. He will also participate in track and field for the first time since eighth grade. “Why not?,” he said. “It is good to be active during these times. It gives me something to do and work hard to accomplish.” 

Cristian is more than enjoying his time at Dunmore High School. “I would not trade it for anything else in the world,” he said. “No doubt. We always look at the bright side here.” 

District 2 Champion Dunmore Stomps Over Riverside

By Steve Svetovich

A potent running attack led by Cristian Buckley and Karl Kincel powered Dunmore to a 57-15 win over Riverside, Friday, October 30, at home.

The win gave the Bucks a final 3-2 regular season record under second year head football coach Kevin McHale. A district title and trip to the state playoffs was secured the following day. 

Lackawanna Trail’s 34-19 loss to Old Forge, Saturday, October 31, elevated Dunmore to District 2 Class 2A champion and a state playoff game for the Bucks. 

Buckley, quick, explosive and shifty, rambled for 208 yards on 18 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown burst with 29 seconds left in the first half to break a 15-15 tie. It was the talented senior’s third game over 200 yards rushing and moved his season total to over 1,000 yards on the ground in only five games. Buckley, hoping to play college football on the Division I level, has over 3,000 career rushing yards at Dunmore. 

Fullback Kincel added to the brutal running attack with 101 yards rushing, including two touchdowns. He scored a touchdown on a 68-yard sprint in the second quarter and added another tally on a four-yard burst in the third quarter. 

“Riverside is a good football team with an excellent quarterback,” said Dunmore head coach McHale. “We got off to a slow start, but gained some momentum in the second quarter. 

“From that point on we played well in all three phases, offense, defense, special teams. 

“We are very proud that our kids have been able to capture our seventh straight District 2 championship.” 

The Bucks totaled 338 yards on the ground behind a dominant offensive line.

Dunmore rallied from an early 15-0 deficit to score 57 unanswered points.

Riverside senior quarterback Johnny Gilchrist hit freshman Reese Gaughan with a 12-yard touchdown pass with 8:08 left in the first quarter. The extra point kick gave Riverside an early 7-0 lead over Dunmore.

A two-yard Gilchrist touchdown plunge followed by a two-point conversion on a pass play gave Riverside a 15-0 lead with 10:11 left in the second quarter.

Gilchrist completed 20-of-37 passes for 350 yards, 263 in the first half, for Riverside. 

Trailing 15-0, Dunmore scored its first touchdown with 9:08 left in the second quarter on a Thomas Bowen one-yard plunge. Peyton Badyrka booted the extra point. 

With the Vikings up 15-7, Riverside was about to force a Dunmore punt with just over four minutes left in the half. However, a roughing the punter penalty against the Vikings, gave Dunmore a break and a first down.

Kincel took advantage by breaking a tackle and scampering to the left sideline for a 68-yard touchdown run. Buckley then ran into the end zone for the two-point conversion and the game was tied, 15-15, with 4:05 left in the first half.

Senior standout Buckley bolted for his 66-yard go-ahead touchdown run with 29 seconds left in the first half. The two-point conversion run failed, but the Bucks had a 21-15 lead at the half.

A Bowen one-yard run followed by Buckley’s two-point conversion run gave Dunmore a 29-15 lead with 10:33 left in the third quarter.

Danny Pigga’s 14-yard bolt followed by Badyrka’s extra point kick gave the Bucks a 36-15 lead with 5:59 left in the third quarter.

Kincel’s four-yard burst followed by Badyrka’s PAT gave Dunmore a 43-15 lead with 2:12 left in the third quarter. 

A David Reilly 65-yard interception return followed by Badyrka’s extra point kick gave Dunmore a 50-15 lead with 11:45 left in the fourth quarter. 

Liam Crolly’s 22-yard gallop followed by the always reiiable Badyrka’s extra point kick gave the Bucks a 57-15 advantage with 2:46 left in the contest. 

The Bucks defense tightened up in the second half against Riverside stalwart signal caller Gilchrist. Bucks senior Dom Temperino, always clutch, sacked Gilchrist twice and Kincel added another forcing a desperation throw leading to Reilly’s 65-yard touchdown dash on his interception return.

Kincel, a tough two-way performer, showed no effects from a hand injury he suffered early in the season.