Dunmore Lady Bucks rolling at 23-0 to district title game

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By Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore Lady Bucks are on a roll.

And veteran coach Ben O’Brien’s team survived an overtime in the Friday, February 25 District 2 Class 3A semifinal at Lackawanna College Student Union.

The Lady Bucks were able to pull off a 49-45 overtime win over the tough Riverside Lady Vikings.

The big win kept Dunmore’s undefeated season intact at 23-0 and earned the team a trip to the district title game Saturday, March 4 at noon at Mohegan Sun Arena against Holy Redeemer, who beat Mid Valley, 46-39, in a semifinal contest.

Erika Bistran made several key plays down the stretch and Gianna Delfino blocked a potential game winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation.

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Senior Maddie Martin is the Lady Bucks’ leading scorer. (Credit: Rich Bank Photography)

Senior stalwart Maddie Martin scored 25 points and was clutch throughout the contest for the Lady Bucks.

Riverside (14-11) held a 37-32 lead after Shelby Slaboda hit on a jump shot with 4:24 left in the contest.

Dunmore came back quick on a basket by sophomore center Victoria Toomey and huge 3-pointer from Bistran who scored 13 points.

Natalie Sottile then hit a 3-pointer to put Riverside ahead, 40-37.

The undefeated season was being threatened, but the Lady Bucks wouldn’t quit. Bistran hit two free throws and then stole the ball leading to Martin’s 12-footer with 1:53 left in the thriller. Dunmore led, 41-40.

The scrappy Lisa Tallo made one of two free throws for Dunmore, but Riverside star Lizzy Spindler, who scored 12 points and had five assists, tied the game at 42 after driving to the hoop with 1:15 left.

The Lady Bucks played for the final shot, but Julia Antoniacci stole the ball for Riverside with five seconds left.

Dunmore fouled and the Lady Vikings called timeout with nine-tenths of a second left. An inbounds pass went to Antoniacci, who scored 15 points in the game, but Delfino swiftly and dramatically blocked the shot attempt sending the game into overtime and saving the undefeated record.

Martin hit two free throws with 2:13 left in the overtime giving Dunmore the lead.

Tallo hit another free throw. Then Bistran hit two more free throws, including the second that came after the lights went out due to a raging storm outside the facility.

Riverside kept its hopes alive on a long 3-pointer by Antoniacci with 2.9 seconds left.

However, Riverside received a technical for calling a timeout the team did not have. Martin then put the lights out for good, hitting on two free throws and the 49-45 win to advance to the district final and keep the undefeated season alive.

Delfino had nine rebounds and two blocks in the win. Tallo had three steals and three assists. Martin added three steals to go with her 25 points.

The Lady Bucks defeated Meyers High School, 50-18, in the District 2 Class 3A quarterfinal game Wednesday, February 22 at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

The stingy Dunmore defense held Meyers to 7-of-44 shooting from the field.

Martin led the a Lady Bucks with 19 points.

Delfino scored 11 points and added 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Tallo had eight points and six steals.

Toomey had four blocks.

Martin, Delfino, Tallo and Toomey opened up the scoring with a 12-2 burst, including two 3-pointers by Martin. The Lady Bucks never looked back.

Athlete of the Month: Erika Bistran

athlete-of-the-month-erika-bistran-picBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore senior volleyball outside hitter Erika Bistran was selected All Regional for the second time in her outstanding four-year career.

Daughter of Lori and Rob Bistran, Dunmore, Erika, 18, is a team player all the way.

Hard working and humble, she was quick to praise teammates, opponents and coaches when she heard about her selection.

“I was shocked and did not expect it,” she said. “It is quite an accomplishment and takes a lot of hard work. There are a lot of great players in our league, so you don’t know if this is possible. We have great coaching and it’s a team game. Volleyball is point by point. It is play by play. You play as a team. I have great teammates here who all work hard.”

Erika finished the season with 268 kills, 60 digs, 67 aces and 107 serving points. She finished her career with 415 kills, 135 digs, 139 aces and 381 serving points.

She was also an All Regional selection in her freshman year. She was a first-team all-star as a freshman.

Coached by Sue Dempsey, the Dunmore girls’ volleyball team finished a splendid season with an 18-3 record. Dunmore finished second in its division and lost the district title game to Holy Redeemer.

“We had a nice year,” said Erika. “We were young and a little inexperienced, so we had to come together as a team. We had to get the job done and make it happen. It was a lot of hard work, but we played as a team and really put it together.”

Erika has a 3.6 academic average and aspires to become a Physician’s Assistant. She has applied to Kings College for the Physician’s Assistant program.

Erika, well rounded in all aspects of academics, clubs and sports, is president of the Spanish Club at Dunmore. She is secretary of the TACT Club and a member of SADD, the French Club and National Honor Society. Her favorite subject is history.

Erika is also a four-year member and two-year starter as a forward on the Dunmore girls’ basketball team. She averaged over six points and over eight rebounds per game last season.

She has been a Dunmore football cheerleader for the past two years.

She talked about what it takes to be a good volleyball player in high school. “It takes a lot of hard work. You have to practice hard both in season and out of season. You have to push yourself to be the best. And you really have to love the sport.”

Erika said she has learned a lot from coach Dempsey. “She always teaches to be a team player and a leader. When you are down, pick everyone up. Volleyball is a team sport, not an individual sport.”

Erika, who is a big fan of Carrie Underwood and would like to see her in concert, talked about her future goals. “I definitely want to focus on school and become a Physician’s Assistant. I might play volleyball in college. In the end, it is all about school.”

The talented scholar-athlete lives by the Beach Boys song, “Be True to Your School.” Erika loves Dunmore High School.

“I love it,” she said. “Dunmore High is a great place to be. The environment is great. The environment is like no other school. The Friday night football games are amazing. Dunmore is one of a kind. I love it here. I have great experiences with great people.”

Dunmore Lady Bucks advance to state semifinal before loss to Neumann-Goretti

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The 2015-2016 Lady Bucks Basketball Team. Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

By Steve Svetovich

It was another basketball season to remember.

A season ending loss, but a lot to be proud of.

The Dunmore Lady Bucks advanced all the way to the PIAA Class AA semifinal losing to Neumann-Goretti, 52-26, Tuesday, March 15, at Bethlehem Freedom High School.

It was the third straight season Neumann-Goretti eliminated the Lady Bucks in the playoffs.

Dunmore finished the season 27-3, a magnificent showing under veteran coach Ben O’Brien.

The Lady Bucks won the Lackawanna League Division III title in a season that featured a 20-game winning streak.

Dunmore lost to Neumann-Goretti, 64-61, in the quarterfinals last season. The Lady Bucks lost, 55-30, to Neumann-Goretti in the semifinals in 2014.

In the state semifinal this year, Syracuse-commit Alisha Kebbe led Neumann-Goretti with 16 points. Morgan Lenahan scored 13 and Chyna Nixon added 12.

Dunmore had only nine field goals on 28 attempts against a tight Neumann-Goretti defense. Dunmore senior Izzy Cooper hit on four of her eight shots from the paint to lead the Lady Bucks with eight points.

The Lady Bucks did not score in the fourth quarter. Neumann-Goretti scored 14 in the final quarter to close the win.

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Dunmore senior Megan Hartshorn, April 2016 Athlete of the Month. Photo Credit: Rich Banick Photography

The Lady Bucks came close in the third quarter when senior Megan Hartshorn, Maddie Martin and Erika Bistran each hit 3-pointers. Dunmore was able to close the gap to 33-24 after Bistran hit her 3-pointer.

Emily Sheehan scored on a hoop with 30 seconds left in the third quarter as Dunmore was down, 38-26.

However, Dunmore did not score again.

The Lady Bucks defeated Imhotep Charter, 45-44, in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinal game, Friday, March 11, at Bethlehem Freedom High School.

Dunmore star junior guard Maddie Martin led the team with 13 points in the contest. She scored Dunmore’s first points of the game to go up, 3-2.

Bistran scored nine, Hartshorn eight, Sheehan seven and Cooper six to aide a balanced Dunmore scoring attack.

The clutch Martin hit a third-quarter lay-in to put the Lady Bucks up, 22-21.

Bistran and Hartshorn hit on back-to-back 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

A Hartshorn hoop and two Martin free throws put Dunmore up by five late in the contest.

The Lady Bucks, led by Martin’s superb ball handling, held onto the ball in the final minutes before Sheehan hit on two free throws and Martin on one to give Dunmore a 45-41 lead.

Imhotep’s Shadera Jenkins hit on a 3-pointer with a half second left, but Dunmore sealed the win, 45-44.

Bistran hit on three 3-pointers in the win. Cooper hauled down seven important rebounds.

Beginning a stretch in 2005-06 that includes six straight District 2 Class AA titles and nine total, the Lady Bucks have been in the state playoffs in each of the past 11 years. In that time, Dunmore has a record of 276-47, including 20-11 in the state playoffs.

Dunmore finished 25-4 under coach O’Brien last season. The Lady Bucks graduate six seniors this year.