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.
Freshman 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.