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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Travel Teams Fare Well in Mid Valley Biddy Basketball Action

  • Three teams based right here in the Maple City recently completed their winter hoops season
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  • A trio of travel teams recently put the finishing touches on the 2012-13 basketball season here in the Maple City.
    These squads began their practices all the way back in mid-December and finally closed out their campaigns in early March.
    All three teams are based in Honesdale and competed in the Mid Valley League. They are comprised of players in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.
    "We all had a really nice season," said Coach Mike Bancroft, who's been a key player in these travel teams for five years now.
    "They're a great bunch of kids to work with. If they keep going the way they are now, the future of Honesdale basketball looks pretty bright."
    AG Howell, another longtime volunteer coach on the local hoops circuit, agrees wholeheartedly.
    "These kids really work well together," he said. "They're very coachable and want to learn. I'm pretty excited to see what they can do down the road."
    Former Honesdale coach and Wayne County Sports Hall of Famer Roy Gibbs also lent his expertise to this year's program.
    The two younger teams played their games in Throop and Dickson City, while the 6th graders used the Mid Valley high and middle school gyms.
    They competed against teams from Old Forge, Abington, Carbondale Area, Dickson City and Throop.
    On the Court
    Honesdale's 4th grade team played well from the start of the campaign to its completion.
    The local lads racked up a 13-5 overall record and finished second in the regular season standings.
    Page 2 of 3 - From there, the youngest Hornets qualified for the year-end tournament. The Red & Black advanced all the way to the title tilt before suffering a 3-point loss to Abington Heights.
    Members of the 4th grade team include: Sam Jones, Jimmy Rodda, Brayden Hanson, Connor Coar, Nick Sherman, Drew Howell and Timmy Jackson.
    Honesdale was even more impressive in the 5th grade division. The Hornets went 14-3 in the regular season, earning a #4 seed in the league tourney.
    There, the Red & Black carved out a 4th place finish, losing the bronze medal game to Old Forge by just three points.
    Members of the 5th grade team: Adam Blake, Luke Bancroft, Cole Bannan, Ben Williams, Jack Firmstone, Robbie Campen, Joey Scarfalloto, Alex Atcavage and Aiden Pietraszewski.
    Honesdale's 6th grade squad turned in a stellar all-round effort en route to a sparkling 24-8 record.
    With co-coaches Howell and Gibbs calling the shots, the Hornets tipped of their slate with a 3rd place finish at the pre-season tourney.
    From there, Honesdale ran roughshod over its regular season competitors. The Red & Black wound up all alone atop the standings and earned a #1 seed for the playoff tournament.
    Sadly for local fans, the Hornets came up five points short to Valley View in the championship game.
    Page 3 of 3 - Members of Honesdale's 6th grade team include: Ethan Dunn, Alex Ashley, Max Land, Will Howell, Anthony Dell'Aquila, Colin Rickard, Michael Montambault, Matt Linde, Cade LaBracio, Nick Bochnovich, Tanner Box and Justin LoBasso.
    Over & Out
    Many players from these travel teams have already transitioned to AAU for the spring and summer months.
    Honesdale sent a squad to a prestigious Easter hoops event this weekend at King of Prussia.
    "We have six kids from the 6th grade team and two from the 5th grade team down here," Coach Howell said via cell phone.
    "The kids are excited to be here. The competition should be pretty tough, but it will be a good experience for all of us."
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