Doin’ Dunmore: A Season to Remember for the Dunmore Lady Bucks

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By Steve Svetovich

Memories. That’s what this year’s edition of the Dunmore Lady Bucks will be noted for when its team members look back at this team decades from now.

The team just created great memories for Dunmore High School and the community.

And that was en route to a Lynett Tournament title, District championship and a run to the PIAA Class 3A title game, a 49-43 loss to Delone Catholic.

And the Lady Bucks, trailing throughout the state title game, never gave up making a late run but just falling short.

Dunmore seniors Victoria Toomey, Gianna Delfino, Lisa Tallo, Brooke Frable and Julia Walsh took center court and proudly hoisted the PIAA Class 3A runner-up trophy following the loss in the state title game.

Dunmore’s run through two of the state’s top high school basketball programs will never be forgotten.

The Lady Bucks ended St. Basil Academy’s perfect season in the second round and defeated four-time state champion Neumann-Goretti in the quarterfinals.

The loss in the state title game was Dunmore’s first of the year.

Senior Gianna Delfino said team unity, defense and the coaching staff led by Ben O’Brien were the key to the team’s success this year.

basketballFreshman Moriah Murray led the Lady Bucks in scoring with 15.8 points per game. Murray scored 479 points in her first season of varsity action.

Dunmore senior center-forward Victoria Toomey, last season’s Player of the Year, averaged 12.5 points per game. Senior forward Gianna Delfino, Defensive Player if the Year as a sophomore, averaged 9.0 points per contest.

The attendance in Hershey for the title game was 3,957, with 913 tickets sold in advance through Dunmore athletic director Mark Finan’s office.

The Dunmore community was there all the way to support the Lady Bucks.

The Lady Bucks were losing, 35-12, in the title game when Delfino re-entered the contest and scored the next five points.

Anna Talutto then sparked the comeback even further as she and her teammates scored 17 of the next 18 points as Dunmore pulled within, 36-29, early in the fourth quarter.

But Delone Catholic was just able to pull off the 49-43 win. Time just ran out on the surging Lady Bucks.

Dunmore did get to within five points before a missed shot sealed the win for Delone Catholic. Toomey said she was proud of her team’s effort and how she and her teammates never gave up.

Toomey scored 14 points, Defino scored 10 and Lisa Tallo added nine points in Dunmore’s 50-24 win over Trinity to reach the state title game.

Murray scored 34 points to lead Dunmore to a 54-47 win over defending champion Neumann-Goretti in the state quarterfinal win.

Dunmore also defeated Constitution, 62-14, and St. Basil’s, 47-37, in the first two rounds of the PIAA playoffs.

The Dunmore Lady Bucks finished its historic season with a 29-1 record.

Members of the close knit team include Victoria Toomey, Moriah Murray, Gianna Delfino, Lisa Tallo, Anna Talutto, Nora Haggerty, Katherine Hopkins, Sophia Mandarano, Alexis Santarsiero, Elisa Delfino, Samantha Lewis, Mia Blume, Julia Walsh, Alexis Chapman, Brooke Frable and Molly Zimmer.

Since the state playoffs began in 1974, Dunmore has been in the postseason 29 times.

Dunmore lost previous finals appearances to Cranberry, 44-43, in 1994, and to Erie Villa Marie, 62-39, in 2011.

Undefeated Dunmore Lady Bucks Win Second Straight District Title


By Steve Svetovich

Victoria Toomey, Moriah Murray and Lisa Tallo combined for 26 of Dunmore’s points as the Lady Bucks defeated Holy Redeemer, 33-27, to win its second straight Class AAA District 2 championship Saturday, March 2, at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Freshman stalwart Murray and the multi talented Tallo hit clinching free throws in the final 37 seconds to clinch the title win for the Lady Bucks coached by veteran Ben O’Brien.

It was undefeated Dunmore’s 25th consecutive win.

Alexis Chapman made a huge defensive play at mid court late in the fourth quarter that led to Tallo making a nice pass to Murray for a clutch 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:07 left in the contest.

Chapman hustled on the play as she deflected the ball before chasing it down.

It may have been the defensive play of the season for the Lady Bucks.

Chapman was also clutch on offense hitting a big 3-pointer to help Dunmore to its biggest advantage, 23-18, midway through the third quarter.

Cameron Marchinkowski hit a 3-pointer for Holy Redeemer to tie the game, 26-26, with 4:17 left in the contest.

After the Lady Bucks (25-0) missed a shot, Holy Redeemer (21-4) looked to take the lead before Chapman came through with her defensive gem that led to Murray’s 3-pointer.

Holy Redeemer had another shot, but missed three of four free throws before Murray hit two with 37.2 seconds remaining.

Tallo added two more free throws with 15 seconds left.

Standout senior center-forward Victoria Toomey, last season’s Player of the Year, and Murray led the Lady Bucks with nine points each in the district title win. Tallo added eight points, four assists and four steals. Gianna Delfino scored four points.

Delfino, an all around talent, had nine rebounds to lead the Lady Bucks. Toomey added eight more rebounds.

Another highlight in the contest came at the conclusion of the first quarter when Tallo, who seems to do it all, took an inbounds pass at three-quarter court, went behind her back at the key and hit on a running 17-foot shot.

The Lady Bucks easily defeated No. 4 seed Wyoming Seminary, 57-19, in the semifinal contest Saturday, February 23, at Marywood University.

Freshman phenom Murray led the Lady Bucks with 20 points and added three assists in the semifinal win.

Toomey, who will play basketball at Rider University next year, and Tallo scored 10 points each.

Toomey, the ultimate team leader, added six rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Alex Wesneski led Wyoming Seminary (15-10) with eight points.

The Lady Bucks now play a first round PIAA state playoff game against Constitution, the fourth seed from District 12, Friday, March 8.

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


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.


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.