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.”

DHS Honor Roll released

Dunmore High School has announced its fourth quarter honor roll from June 2022:  

9th Grade:
Distinguished Honors

Jatan Avasatthi, Aaliyah Boone, Arthur Christiano, Thomas Clark, Madden D’Angelo, Alisha Davis, Hayden Delbridge, Jack DiCindio, Cole Fangio, Max Forgione, Angelo Gambo, Andrew Gatto, Julianna Grow, Sydney Harding, Lauren Henry, Shamus Hinton, Matthew Iezzi, Christian Jaramillo, Margaret Jimmie, Asher Jones, Abigail Kocher-Vinton, Emily Lam, John Madafferi, Skye Madrazo, Lily Massaro, Cullen McCarthy, Jack McNeff, Tyara Mislan, Madeline Mislinski, Connor Mullaney, Myra Orr, Isabella Pasko, Mir Patel, Timothy Redding, Aviana Rivera, Isabelle Rought, Olivia Santarsiero, Lucy Seibert, Savanna Sherman, Loren Spudic, Sophia Talutto, Conor Toole, Anna Trauger, Aidan Walsh.

Honors

Anthony Anelli, Luca Baldassari, Anthony Bonavoglia, Elizabeth DePrimo, Cory Domiano, Ava Ferraro, Gabriel Franek, Sophia Gabello, Anthony Gambo, Robert Hoban, Patrick Kopacz, Oseem Nedd, Molly Rafferty-Donahoe, Eric Reesey, Holly Tosto.

10th Grade:
Distinguished Honors

Abiline Antoniotti, Julianna Argust, Alexander Blasi, Collin Blasi, Mia Capooci, Sienna Delfino, Allison Dempsey, Domenic DeSando, Serenity Fox, Sean Gallagher, Megan Gilhooley, Andrew Haser, Nathan Howey-Reuther, Alishba Islam, Jacqueline Kelly, Geanna Kirchner, Brynn Kochis, Savannah Lockwood, Jackson Madajeski, Camden McCarthy, Maura Michalczyk, Nataly Portanova, Miguel Ramos, Emma Renard, Conor Roberts, Shawn Rowell, Kaitlyn Scherbenco, Anthony Tunis, Cailey Waters, Mia Waters, Julia White, Mackenzie Witkowski. 

Honors

Anna Belko, Thomas Bowen, Tristan Canavan, Masiahs Cruz, Noah Dougherty, Rogan Dougherty, Giulietta Escobar, Gianna Frank, Catherine Gilhooley, Safwan Joiya, Aidan Kearney, Caden Kirby, Evan McHale, Mia Novak, Thomas Robinson, Anthony Santarsiero, Dino Scotti, Sophia Summa, Nicholas Tullio, Joshua Wanick, Kaylie Zimmer. 

11th Grade:
Distinguished Honors 

Kristian Balingasa, Jacquelyn Bitter, Colleen Blockberger, Michael Bonavoglia, Faith Bravo, Cole Capooci, Anthony Colborn, John Costanzi, John Crespo Clark, Krystal Crespo Clark, Grace Czankner, Nathan DeSando, Zachary Eynon, Kristine Fagioli, Cameron Gerrity, Jacob Grande, Colin Hartman, Kieran Hinton, Gregory Hunt, Abigail Kopacz, Kelis Laborde, Cadence Lewis, Evan Makowski, Nicholas Mecca, Mitchell Megivern, Ayman Mounota, Angelo Naro, Osselle Nedd, Adriana Pacewicz, Eva Patel, Thomas Pavlowski, Kaylee Pinto, Morgan Quinn, Breanna Ramos, Alyssa Renna, Riley Robinson, Nico Ruggiero, Anthony Sabia, Michelle Sanders, Brian Santarsiero, Morgan Seamon, Maura Sheets, Zackery Springett,  Ashley Stefanac, Cataldo Talutto. Adeline Toole, Ciera Toomey, Madolyn Valvano, Madison Waltz.

Honors

Baraa Alobid, Ryan Aviles, Megan Brace, Julia Cirba, Nasir Creed, Nicholas Creed, Quinn Davis, Andrew Fazio, Joseph Lucas, Joshua Malone, Bastianna Orr, Nicholas Pierro, Dale Salzmann, Kamryn Tsikalas.

12th Grade:
Distinguished Honors 

Liam Ahern, Katherine Alunni, Olivia Amico, Jaden Argust, Ethan Art, Isabella Aydin, Abigail Barone, Matthew Behler, Hope Blasko, Mia Blume, Luca Boles, Vincent Bonavoglia, McKenna Brazil, Katie Capooci, Joseph Cardillo, Madison Christiano, Thomas Ciccotti, Emma Conte, Liam Crolly, Mikhail Fabi, Kuriana Fox, Kemania Gayle, Gregory Harrington, Jack Hubshman, Aden King, Eliana King, Mia Kochis, Vivianna LaCapra, Leah Leppo, Abigail Luongo, Micah Madrazo, Sophia Mandarano, Jaclyn Marichak, Aidan McCarthy, Maggie McNally, Allison McNeff, Caleb Milliron, Neel Modi, Colby Murray, Moriah Murray, Matthew Mychayliw, Hannah Nachand, Chloe Ondek, Emma Pasko, Angelo Ramos, Jaclyn Rencavage, Keiran Reyes, Emily Roughgarden, Alexis Santarsiero, Blake Schultz, Naomi Springer, Antonia Summa, Carissa Tallo, Jessica Trauger, Jeffrey Walsh, Kevin Walsh, Rylee Walsh, Isabella Waters, Molly Zimmer.

Honors

Nicholas Bonarrigo, Jacob Cicerini, Adriana Gambo, Mackenzie Grems, Kylee Jezorwski, Jahniah Laborde, Madisyn Lessard, Gemma Longo, Michael Polster, Diana Ramos, Kameryn Reyes, Daniel Schmidt, Eric Slack, Ava Smith.

Doin’ Dunmore: U of S hires Lady Bucks coach Ben O’Brien

By Steve Svetovich

Where will a 347-43 record in 14 high school girls basketball seasons get you?

Besides two PIAA championships and 10 district titles, it helped get Ben O’Brien the position of head basketball coach for the University of Scranton Lady Royals.

The veteran Dunmore girls basketball coach was named the eighth head coach of the University of Scranton Lady Royals Tuesday, July 26.

He replaces Nick DiPillo whose Lady Royals teams went 58-8 in three seasons. DiPillo accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Pittsburgh in June.

“We are very happy for Ben,” said John Marichak, superintendent of Dunmore School District. “We are sorry to be losing such a great teacher, coach and role model. His efforts and contributions to the students of Dunmore are appreciated and will be missed.”

The University of Scranton’s search committee interviewed eight candidates remotely before inviting the top four to campus.

O’Brien’s 347-43 coaching record at Dunmore is remarkable and now legendary.

Dunmore senior standout Ciera Toomey, who has committed to the University of Connecticut after she graduates in 2023, commented on the loss of her coach. “I am so happy for coach O’Brien because he really deserves this,” she said.

“He has done so much for our Lady Bucks program. We will really miss him this season and going forward, but the University of Scranton got a great one. I am really excited to see what he is going to accomplish there.

“I am so thankful for everything he has done for me and all the girls who went through the program.

“I think it’s safe to say the University of Scranton just got a lot more fans from Dunmore.”

The University of Scranton’s athletic director is Dave Martin, whose daughter Maddie was a 1,500-point scorer for Dunmore under O’Brien from 2013 to 2017.

O’Brien, 42, developed a dynasty at Dunmore. The Lady Bucks won at least 21 games 13 times in O’Brien’s 14 years there. The only exception was the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 season when the Lady Bucks finished 15-1.

O’Brien led Dunmore to 13 league championships and 10 district titles with 13 state tournament appearances. Dunmore won at least one state playoff game in every appearance and reached the quarterfinals 10 times.

O’Brien earned The Associated Press Class 2A Coach of the Year in 2011 and The Times-Tribune Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2019.

O’Brien plans to resign as social studies teacher at Dunmore.

He leaves a lasting legacy and inherits a Lady Royals program that has won seven straight Landmark Conference Championships and advanced to the Sweet 16 last season with a 27-3 record.

Dunmore sophomore Sophia Talutto is one of the talented players O’Brien leaves behind. “Obviously, I am very happy for him and do think he deserves this,” she said. “It is upsetting to see him go somewhere else, but it is an amazing opportunity for him that he couldn’t pass up.

“Coach O’Brien put countless hours into the Lady Bucks program. It truly shows how much of an impact he made.

“I am very excited to see him grow in the collegiate level and wish him the best of luck at the University of Scranton.”