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.”

Holy Cross eliminates Dunmore before losing to Trinity

By Steve Svetovich

It was a hard fought contest between two highly energized Dunmore borough teams.

Holy Cross came out on top this time.

Sophomore Pat Galvin and senior Billy Trainor combined for 31 points in the Holy Cross Crusaders win over Dunmore, 46-39, in the District 2 Class AA quarterfinal Friday, February 19, at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

The Holy Cross win eliminated the No. 3 seed Dunmore Bucks (19-7) from the district playoffs.

Galvin led the No. 6 Crusaders with six rebounds in the win. Trainor added four assists.

However, the Crusaders lost a hard fought battle to Trinity High School, 60-43, in the first round of the PIAA Class AA boys’ basketball playoffs, Saturday, March 5, at Central Dauphin East High School.

Holy Cross ended another solid season with a 16-10 record. The Crusaders were 20-7 last season when the team reached the District 2 Class AA championship game.

Senior 6-3 guard Trainor, the only returning starter for the Crusaders this season, scored 11 points in his final game. He scored eight of his 11 points in the first half against Trinity.

Galvin, a 5-8 sophomore guard, led Holy Cross with 13 points in the contest. He hit on three 3-pointers.

Although the Crusaders never led in the game, they never stopped battling. Holy Cross was down, 16-11, after the first quarter. Then an 8-0 run by Trinity to start the second quarter put the Crusaders behind, 24-11. That spurt was too much to overcome.

Austin Gilbertson led Trinity with 21 points.

Matt Nelson, a 5-8 junior, added seven points for Holy Cross. Bailey Simrell. a 6-4 junior, added five points for the Crusaders.

The Holy Cross-Dunmore contest was a classic battle between the crosstown rivals.

Dunmore, coached by Tony Lacertoso, didn’t go down easy. The Bucks overcame a seven-point deficit and tied the score early in the fourth quarter.

However, Holy Cross veteran coach Al Callejas called a timeout.

It worked.

The sharp shooting Trainor hit a couple jump shots on two straight possessions. The Crusaders did not look back.

This marked the fourth contest this season between the intra borough teams. Both teams won twice, but the Crusaders took home the biggest win.

Holy Cross started off quick in the contest with three straight 3-pointers. Trainor hit two and Galvin one as the Crusaders built a quick 9-2 lead.

Holy Cross led at the half, 21-15.

Dunmore rallied in the third quarter when 6-foot-7 center Jonathon Williams picked up his game. He had four of his eight points and hauled down five rebounds in the quarter.

A clutch basket by Dunmore’s Nick Maldonato to open the fourth quarter tied the game at 28-28. Maldonato scored six points in the game.

Trainor then hit a jumper to put the Crusaders up, 30-28. Dunmore’s Matt Murphy came back and hit a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 31-30 lead with 6:30 left in the contest. That was to be Dunmore’s only lead.

Trainor came back and hit another clutch jumper. Malachi Phillips hit on two baskets. Then Baily Simrell hit on a hoop. That capped the 8-1 Holy Cross burst to give the Crusaders a 38-32 lead with 3:08 left in the game.

Still, the stingy Bucks would not give up.

Colin Holmes, who scored seven points, and Williams both hit buckets to pull the Bucks to within 38-36 with 1:14 left in the game.

The Crusaders responded as Philips scored on a reverse layup and Galvin and Trainor each hit on free throws.

A Noah O’Malley 3-pointer came a little too late for Dunmore as Holy Cross held on for the 46-39 win.

Holy Cross defeated Mountain View, 62-46, in first round playoff action Wednesday, February 17.

Trainor led the Crusaders with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the opening round win.

Simrell added 14 points. Phillips scored 12.

Trainor is one of only three graduating seniors for Holy Cross. J.J. Montefour and Chad Yurkovic also graduate this year.

With a slew of returning key players, coach Callejas should lead his team to another strong playoff run next season.

The future is bright for the Crusaders.

Holy Cross eliminates Dunmore in district playoff battle

By Steve Svetovich

It was a hard fought battle between two highly energized Dunmore borough teams.

This time, Holy Cross came out on top.

Sophomore Pat Galvin and senior Billy Trainor combined for 31 points in the Holy Cross Crusaders win over Dunmore, 46-39, in the District 2 Class AA quarterfinal Friday, Feb. 19, at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

The Holy Cross (15-8 at press time) win eliminated the No. 3 seed Dunmore Bucks (19-7) from the district playoffs.

The 5-foot-8 Galvin led the No. 6 Crusaders with six rebounds in the win. Trainor had four assists.

Dunmore, coached by Tony Lacertoso, didn’t go down easy. The Bucks overcame a seven-point deficit and tied the score early in the fourth quarter.

However, Holy Cross veteran coach Al Callejas called a timeout. It worked.

The sharp shooting Trainor hit a couple jump shots on two straight possessions. The Crusaders did not look back.

This marked the fourth contest this season between the intra borough teams. Both teams won twice, but the Crusaders took home the biggest win.

Holy Cross started off quick in the contest with three straight 3-pointers. Trainor hit two and Galvin one as the Crusaders built a quick 9-2 lead.

Holy Cross led at the half, 21-15.

Dunmore rallied in the third quarter when 6-foot-7 center Jonathon Williams picked up his game. He had four of his eight points and hauled down five rebounds in the quarter.

A clutch basket by Dunmore’s Nick Maldonato to open the fourth quarter tied the game at 28-28. Maldonato scored six points in the game.

Trainor then hit a jumper to put the Crusaders up, 30-28. Dunmore’s Matt Murphy came back and hit a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 31-30 lead with 6:30 left in the contest. That was to be Dunmore’s only lead.

Trainor came back and hit another clutch jumper. Malachi Phillips hit on two baskets. Then Baily Simrell hit on a hoop. That capped the 8-1 Holy Cross burst to give the Crusaders a 38-32 lead with 3:08 left in the game.

Still, the stingy Bucks would not give up.

Colin Holmes, who scored seven points, and Williams both hit buckets to pull the Bucks to within 38-36 with 1:14 left in the game.

The Crusaders responded as Philips scored on a reverse layup and Galvin and Trainor each hit on free throws.

A Noah O’Malley 3-pointer came a little too late for Dunmore as Holy Cross held on for the 46-39 win.

Holy Cross defeated Mountain View, 62-46, in first round playoff action Wednesday, February 17.

Trainor led the Crusaders with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the opening round win. Simrell added 14 points. Phillips scored 12.