Toomey is force in middle for Dunmore Lady Bucks

victoria-toomey-picBy Steve Svetovich

Every good basketball team needs a force in the middle.

And sophomore Victoria Toomey has been that as the starting center for the Dunmore Lady Bucks.

Undefeated with a 13-0 record at press time under veteran coach Ben O’Brien, the Lady Bucks are relying on Victoria to be an integral part of the team’s inside game.

Daughter of Pat and Carrie Toomey, Dunmore, she is in the top 10 in Lackawanna League Division III in scoring at 10.5 points per game and in rebounding at close to eight boards per contest.

This is Victoria’s second season on the Dunmore basketball team.

She is also a member of the Spanish Club, Earth Club and Health Careers Club at Dunmore High School. Victoria has an impressive 96.4 academic average. Her favorite subject is history.

Victoria was interviewed by The Dunmorean following her team’s 61-46 win over Lakeland. Victoria scored 11 points as Dunmore extended its record to 13-0.

She also helped her team win the Lynett Tournament.

“I have to attribute our success thus far to team chemistry,” she said. “We pass the ball and look for the open shot. We play together as a team.”

The scholar-athlete said she learned a lot from coach O’Brien. “He tells us to find the open player, make the extra pass and be unselfish on the court. “

Victoria said her parents have been a big help. “I have really learned a lot from my parents. My mom coached me from the time I was a little kid. My parents always tell me to not be afraid to make a mistake. They tell me to go for it.”

The sophomore stalwart talked about what it takes to be a good center.

“You need to play smart and take your time with the ball before making a move. You need to know where the defense is.”

Victoria, who enjoys listening to Beyoncé, said her hobbies include reading and painting.

Her favorite basketball players are Brianna Stewart and Katie Samuelson of the University of Connecticut. Her favorite college team is Syracuse.

Victoria said she hopes to study architecture and play college basketball.

In the meantime, she loves Dunmore.

“Dunmore is a great community. It is a tight knit community. It’s a fun place to play basketball. Everybody comes out to watch us play.

“I love being here. It’s a great place to play and go to school.”

Athlete of the Month: R.J. Boyle

RJ Boyle Photo 2

By Steve Svetovich

Holy Cross Crusaders senior R.J. Boyle once again was the staff ace as his team won the Lackawanna League Division II title and entered district playoffs with a win.

The Crusaders finished the regular season with a 12-2 record, 8-2 in league play.

Boyle finished the season with a perfect 6-0 record and 1.35 ERA. He was 6-1 the previous season and has 20 career wins.

Son of Rich and Michelle Boyle, the ace hurler also plays second base for the Crusaders. He has a .280 batting average.

Holy Cross, coached by the veteran Sandy Menichetti, beat Wyoming Seminary, 8-5, in the first district playoff contest. “We work hard as a team and we put out results,” said Boyle. “We have a real good shot to win the district playoffs and go far. We have the momentum right now. We all feel this is our year.”

The pitcher-infielder said he learned a lot from his parents. “They always tell me to be the best person I can be. They tell me it is more important to be a good student than it is to be a good athlete. Be a student first and an athlete second.”

And Boyle has learned plenty from coach Menichetti. “He tells us if we put in the time then all of our hard work will pay off.”

RJ Boyle Photo 3Boyle, the student, has an impressive 3.6 grade point average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Pro Life, the Language Club and Crusaders for Compassion. He said Math is his best subject.

He enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see country artist Luke Bryan in concert.

A four-year member of the Holy Cross varsity baseball team, he played one season of freshman basketball.

He will enter his eighth season of travel baseball with the East Coast Sand Hogs this summer. He also plays American Legion baseball in Dickson City.

He talked about what it takes to be a good pitcher. “You need to work hard and put the time in. And then you will get results.”

Boyle is going to study biology next year at Gwynedd Mercy near Lansdale.

He eventually would like to become a physical therapist.

“I want to do something in medicine that is going to help people, especially young athletes.”

He also is expected to play baseball in college.

He talked about his Holy Cross experience.

“I have been very happy here. It is a small school and you get to knowR.J. Boyle leads Holy Cross pitching staff

everyone. That makes for a good baseball team and experience.”

One aspect of the game has been a sure thing. The Holy Cross Crusaders always play confident with R.J. Boyle on the mound. “I enjoy pitching for this team. We have a great group of guys.”

Holy Cross senior guard leads on court and in classroom

alfano2

By Steve Svetovich

Senior point guard Alyssa Alfano is an unsung hero as the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders at press time have won 14 of the first 15 basketball games.

At press time, Alyssa, daughter of Sherri Alfano and the late Tony Alfano,  is seventh with a 13 points per game scoring average in Lackawanna League Division III. Her teammates, Abby Anderson and Lexi Walsh, average 16.7 and 12.8 points per game, respectively, giving the team a potent 1-2-3 punch.

And Alyssa leads the Lackawanna League Division III at press time with a spectacular .923 free throw percentage.

A team player all the way, Alyssa also averages 3.5 assists per game as the floor leader.

Her younger sister, Amanda, is a sophomore member of the Lady Crusaders basketball team coached by veteran Barry Fitzgerald.

Alyssa, 18, has played AAU travel basketball since she was in the fifth grade. Last summer she played for JV Hoops. She was an all-tournament selection last summer while helping a team comprised of mostly Holy Cross players win the 2015 Luzerne-Lackawanna Challenge sponsored by Januzzi’s Pizza.

Alyssa is a four-year member of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders basketball team. She played with a fractured finger for the second half of her sophomore season. She also had an ankle injury during her junior year that kept her out of the first five games.A member of the softball team as a sophomore, she is a member of the Service Club, Foreign Languages Club and Student Council. Her favorite subject is Latin.

Very polite and humble, Alyssa also believes in giving back to the community. She received the Presidential Service Award for over 100 hours of community service work. She also received a Service Award for Habitat for Humanity.

Alyssa helped the Lady Crusaders win the James Akens Memorial Tournament at North Pocono High School. Holy Cross defeated North Pocono in the title game. Alyssa was named to the all-tournament team. Teammate Abby Anderson was MVP in the tournament.

Alyssa, small in stature but very quick, is an honor student with a 3.3 grade point average. She hopes to play basketball and study athletic training in college.

alfano1At press time, she has scored over 700 points in her varsity basketball career at Holy Cross. She talked about what it takes to excel at the point guard position. “You have to handle the ball well and know how to distribute the ball,” she said.

Alyssa said she learned a lot from coach Fitzgerald.  “He teaches me to communicate well with the other players on the team, so we can all be on the same page.”

Her mom, a school teacher, has been a big influence on her game and academic success. “She always tells me if you don’t keep trying, then you won’t succeed.”

Her grandparents, Hank and Joan Gerrity, are very close to Alyssa and come to every basketball game. “They always teach me about dedication,” she said.

Alyssa was also close to her late grandparents, Philomena Alfano and Tony Alfano Sr.

Alyssa’s late dad, Tony, a dedicated father and husband, died when she was 10. But he was a constant support and his steady influence is always there. “He told me you have to love what you do and be happy doing it.”

Alyssa, who scored a season high 19 points against Carbondale, said she enjoys running in her spare time and studied dance for several years. She enjoys music and would like to see Taylor Swift in concert.

She talked about her goals. “Well, right now I want to help my team win the league and district titles. I would like to play basketball in college and eventually have a career in athletic training.”

Alyssa, always dedicated and team oriented, said she has enjoyed her four years at Holy Cross as she nears graduation. “Holy Cross is like one great community. The kids reach out to help each other. We are all very close. The teachers and administration do anything they can to help you.”

And with Alyssa’s efficient passing, scoring and ball handling, the team remains confident with her at the point guard for the rest of her senior season.