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 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.