For eight minutes Monday night, Honesdale had its hands full with a scrappy Western Wayne squad.
Thanks in large part to the play of Rachel and Rebecca Carmody, the Lady 'Cats held an 11-10 lead over the reigning District Two champs after one quarter.
Sadly for a raucous Varden Garden crowd, that razor-thin advantage didn't last long. The Red & Black turned up the defensive pressure, clamped down on the Carmody twins and dominated the second period.
With Morgan Birmelin, Katie Miller and Mary Martin leading the way, Honesdale embarked upon a 15-3 run.
By the time the first half buzzer sounded, Coach Tracy Ludwig's girls had taken a commanding 31-17 lead.
"We try to stay focused and take things one play at a time, one quarter at a time," she said.
"Give Western Wayne credit because we had our hands full there for awhile. Thankfully, we got things moving in the right direction as the game went on."
Honesdale put things out of reach with another eruption after intermission. The Lady Hornets outscored their hosts 16-3 and pushed their lead to 21 points late in the third quarter.
From there, visitors cruised to a 49-32 Lackawanna League win.
"It was very nice to get playing time for some of the other girls tonight," Coach Ludwig said after emptying her bench in the fourth quarter. "When playoff time comes, you have to have depth if you want to keep winning."
With this victory, the Red & Black improved their overall record to 16-3. Honesdale is now 6-3 in Division II.
Next on the agenda for the Lady Hornets is a road trip to Clarks Summit for a battle with Abington Heights. That contest is slated for a 7:15 p.m. tip Thursday night.
Page 2 of 3 - Back & Forth
Rachel Carmody sparked Western Wayne to an early lead.
The Lady 'Cat sophomore forward grabbed an offensive rebound and powered up for a basket. Carmody also stepped back and drilled a deep trey, which left Honesdale reeling.
It was at this point that Miller began heating up. She slashed through the lane on back-to-back possessions, finishing with a pair of sweet lefty layups.
"Katie has really elevated her game in the last week or two," Coach Ludwig said. "She is attacking the basket much more aggressively and that's something I'm happy to see."
As it turned out, Miller was just getting started. Katie's hot streak continued deep into the second quarter when she scored eight of her 12 points.
The Lady 'Cats desperately tried to keep pace.
Rachel Carmody continued her stellar all-round play, scoring from the paint and from the perimeter. By the time the night was out, Western Wayne's most versatile player would post a double-double: 10 points and 12 rebounds. She also blocked four shots.
Rebecca Carmody turned in her usual fiery performance, running the Lady 'Cat offensive attack and playing relentless. Unfortunately for the Varden Garden faithful, Carmody got herself into foul trouble and spent a big chunk of time on the pine.
Nevertheless, Rebecca still battled her way to a team-best 12 points.
Birmelin and Martin combined to put the game away after halftime.
Morgan put on a show for local fans. She hit a pull-up jumper, then drained a deep trey off an inbounds play and finished up with a game-high 13 points.
Meanwhile, Martin displayed a toughness that has become legendary around the Lackawanna League. Mary broke a bone in her hand last week and played Monday night with a heavily bandaged appendage.
Page 3 of 3 - She didn't even seem to notice.
Martin muscled her way to seven rebounds, four steals and 10 points ... a fact that earned rave reviews from her mentor.
"Mary is as tough as they come," Coach Ludwig said with a smile. "She proves it time after time. I wish I had 10 more Mary Martins. She just doesn't let anything bother her."
Kacie Johannes and Natasha Hessling also contributed key plays to the Honesdale cause. Johannes dialed up a long distance trey and wound up with seven points, while Hessling tallied twice in the low post.
Jackie Gallik rounded out the Hornet scoring with a three-ball.
Western Wayne received big plays from the likes of Kelsey Russo (four pts), Jordyn Jacques (two), Caleigh Wildenstein (two), Kourtney Jones (one) and Maddi Pike (one).
Score by Quarters...
HON (7-3) 10 21 16 2 - 49
WW (3-7) 11 7 7 7 - 32