Former Dunmore standout named coach of Lady Bucks

By Steve Svetovich

Carrie Bowen Toomey is a basketball lifer.

And a former all-state basketball player for Dunmore.

For years, she has been one of the biggest supporters of the Dunmore basketball programs.

For the past three years she served as assistant basketball coach at Dunmore under Ben O’Brien who last month accepted a position as coach of the University of Scranton Lady Royals.

So it was not a surprise when Bowen Toomey, 51, was named last month as the new coach of the Dunmore Lady Bucks.

“It’s an honor to be chosen,” she said. “I prepared for this for an entire lifetime. I have more to give and I’m very excited.”

Her daughter Ciera Toomey will be a senior forward/center for the Lady Bucks this season. She will begin the season out with a knee injury, but is expected to play under her mom at some point during the season.

Carrie Bowen Toomey poses with her husband, Patrick Toomey, at right, as their daughter Ciera, at center, celebrates her 1000th point with the Ladies Buck basketball team. Carrie is taking over as head coach at DHS this season.

She is committed to play basketball for the University of North Carolina the following year. She averaged over 18 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 67.2 percent from the floor as a junior for Dunmore.

“We are hoping she plays,” her mom said. “If she does, it will be later in the season. She was thrilled about me being named coach though. I have coached her since she started playing basketball. We anticipate she can eventually play this year.”

Another daughter, Victoria Toomey, was a four-year basketball standout at Dunmore and is currently a senior center at Rider University.

Bowen Toomey was a four-year starter for Franklin and Marshall College. At 5-10, she played forward, was a strong rebounder and possessed a terrific jump hook shot.

The Diplomats were MAC-South champs in 1990 with a 25-5 record. During the next three years, Franklin and Marshall won the MAC-Southwesf title, losing in the league championship game each year.

Bowen Toomey was named to the MAC-Southwest Conference first team three years in a row and was the league’s MVP in her junior and senior years. She was named to the ECAC South first All Conference team her junior and senior years.

She was named to the WBCA Mid-Atlantic first team and received honorable mention All-American honors by the WBA. Gazette, the  women’s basketball magazine, named her third-team All-American.

She averaged 13.6 points as a college freshman. She improved to 13.8 as a sophomore, 16.8 as a junior, and 20.1 points per game as a senior.

She finished her Franklin and Marshall career second in school history in scoring with 1,686 points, fourth in rebounding with 821, third in assists with 276, third in steals with 226, fourth in 3-point goals with 54, and third in blocks with 141.

She is in Franklin and Marshall’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

She played professional basketball in England for one year with the Avesta Sheffield Hatters in the English National League. She averaged 14.0 points per game there.

“Being named coach of the Dunmore Lady Bucks is the biggest thrill of my coaching career,” she said. “It’s a great program and we all understand what comes with it,

“Our goal every year here at Dunmore is to win the Lynett title, the district title and the state title.

“I want to make a smooth transition from what Ben did here. And then I want to continue the level of play and success Dunmore is used to every season.”

Bowen-Toomey is a member of the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. While playing for Dunmore, she was the Female Athlete of the Year in 1988-89. She was Scranton Times All-Regional Player of the Year in 1988-89.

She was a part of four straight Lackawanna League South titles as a four-year starter for Dunmore. She was a big part of Dunmore’s District II title in 1986-87. She earned four straight Girls’ Lackawanna Southern Division first-team all-star selections while scoring 1,635 career points and hauling down 1,020 career rebounds.

She is the first female league president in the Dunmore Biddy Basketball League where she coached and served as board member.

She served as assistant basketball coach at Bishop O’Hara from 1997 to 2001 and coached the NEPA Elite AAU team and NEPA Flames AAU team for JB Hoops. She also has experience as a basketball trainer.

“This is a labor of love for me,” she said. “It’s a big job. We all know that. But it’s what I have been doing for my entire life.”

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

LADY BUCKS BASKETBALL

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.