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.

Victoria Toomey is a Leader on Court for Dunmore Lady Bucks

Victoria ToomeyBy Steve Svetovich

She was the Lackawanna League girls’ Player of the Year last season and Lynett Tournament MVP for a second consecutive season.

That’s Dunmore Lady Bucks center-forward Victoria Toomey who is savoring her senior season to the fullest.

Daughter of Pat and Carrie Toomey, her mom, the former Carrie Bowen, was a basketball standout at Dunmore High School and Franklin and Marshall College. Victoria’s mom is a member of the Northeast PA Sports Hall of Fame.

“My parents taught me to work hard,” Victoria said. “They teach me that if you work hard, anything can happen.”

The senior center-forward is fifth in Lackawanna League Division III in scoring with an average of 13.9 points per game and fifth in free throw percentage (.727). She averages over eight rebounds per game.

She earned her second consecutive Lynett Tournament MVP after the Lady Bucks easily defeated Holy Cross for another title.

Her reaction to being named MVP of the tournament?

“I was so happy. I just have to hand it to all of my teammates who gave me the opportunity. It was a great team effort and it could not have happened without all of them.”

She averaged close to 17 points a game and over eight rebounds last season when she was named Player of the Year.

Victoria already has a scholarship in place for next fall when she will play basketball and begin studies at Rider University in New Jersey. She will study sports management with a concentration in business.

Humble, but spirited in nature, Victoria credits her coach Ben O’Brien for much of her success. “I have learned a lot from him. Just so much.

“He teaches us to work hard and take nothing for granted. He teaches us to always play together as teammates and to communicate.”

The scholar-athlete has a 95 academic average. Her best academic subject is history. She is a member of SADD, TACT, the Earth Club, Spanish Club and Art Club.

basketballWith her team undefeated with a 15-0 record (7-0 in the division), she talked about the team’s outlook for the rest of the season.

“We are very happy with our season so far, but not content. We want to keep pushing and go for a state title. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Victoria talked about the great success of the Lady Bucks.

“It’s all about chemistry and knowing each other. It helps that we are all close friends. We have been playing together for so long. Most of us have been playing together since the fourth grade.

“I’m very lucky to be playing basketball at Dunmore. We are very thankful for all of the people who come to our games.”

Victoria said she is looking forward to playing basketball at Rider University and studying sports management. She would like to become a professional sports agent.

Victoria is a four-year member and three-year starter at Dunmore. She was an all-star selection as a sophomore and junior and All Regional in her junior year.

She has 1,040 career points at press time. Victoria scored her milestone 1,000th career point in a recent win last month against Mid Valley.

“Dunmore High School has been such a great experience for me. It is crazy to think four years have gone by and I am a senior. It has been so awesome here. Every game is so special. I am enjoying every moment.”