On an evening set aside to honor upperclassmen, it was a sophomore who stepped into the limelight.
Hundreds of fans packed the stands at Honesdale High School Thursday to help celebrate Senior Night with the girls varsity basketball team.
Mary Martin, Kacie Johannes, Sydney Goyette and Kate Pfeil were feted during pre-game ceremonies, but Katie Miller stole the show with a dazzling offensive effort.
Miller exploded for a career-high 29 points in leading the Lady Hornets to a 58-43 win over visiting North Pocono.
"This was kind of a tough night for all of us," Katie said afterward. "Those girls are some of my best friends. They're more like family than anything and I'm going to miss them so much."
Miller erupted for 15 of her 29 points in the third quarter, but was quick to share any praise with her teammates.
"I felt good out there tonight, but I really couldn't have done anything without them," she said. "They set me up to score all those points."
With this win, the Red & Black closed out the regular season with a 19-3 overall record. Honesdale finished the Lackawanna League campaign with a 10-3 mark and now advanced to the District Two playoffs.
According to Athletic Director Chuck Alexander, the Lady Hornets will most likely host either Wyoming Area or North Pocono in an opening round Class AAA match-up.
That contest is tentatively scheduled for a 7 p.m. start Wednesday night right here in the Maple City.
On the Attack
Honesdale wasted no time in whipping its fans into a first quarter frenzy.
Martin nailed a pair of pull-up jumpers in leading the Lady Hornets to a quick 10-2 lead. North Pocono Coach Dan Hogan quickly called timeout in an effort at calming the crowd.
Page 2 of 3 - The Trojans responded, completely erasing the early deficit and actually taking a 28-25 lead at intermission.
Kaitlyn Lewis was the bane of Honesdale's existence in the first half. North Pocono's lightning-quick guard dialed up three long-distance treys and would finish up her evening with 18 points.
"Lewis is a very good player who really hurt us in the first half," Honesdale Coach Tracy Ludwig said.
"We had to find a way to control her and I think we did a much better job of that after halftime."
Morgan Birmelin spent the majority of the second half making life miserable for Lewis. She scored nine points on the night and held North Pocono's Top Gun to just two fourth quarter buckets.
While Birmelin turned up the defensive pressure, Miller ran wild on offense.
Katie scored from just about every angle on her way to a monster outing.
The highlight of Miller's night came late in the third period when she picked off a pass and went coast-to-coast for the bucket.
Katie was fouled on the play and drained the free throw for an old-fashioned 3-point play.
Martin also terrorized the Trojans in both the front and backcourt. Mary upped Honesdale's lead to double digits with a steal and lay-up early in the fourth.
She finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
"All of our seniors have meant so much to this program, but Mary really stands out," Coach Ludwig said. "She's been our leader on and off the court for the better part of four years. There's just no replacing a player like Mary Martin."
Natasha Hessling and Pfeil anchored Honesdale's low post attack.
Page 3 of 3 - Hessling powered her way to foyr points and seven boards, while Pfeil chipped in with one free throw and five rebounds.
Johannes contributed one bucket, rounding out the Red & Black attack.
Score by Quarters...
HON (19-3) 16 9 18 15 - 58
NP (13-9) 10 18 9 6 - 45