Hornets hang on for wild non-league victory over Dallas.
The Dallas boys basketball team has an Achilles Heel, one that revealed itself late last week in an early season game versus Scranton Prep.
The Mountaineers are tall and talented. However, they are also young, inexperienced and lacking a veteran ballhandler.
Prep discovered this weakness at halftime of a close contest. So, from the initial whistle of the third period, the Cavs employed a brutal fullcourt press that Dallas simply couldn't handle.
The result was a stunning 35-7 run and an eventual 101-57 massacre.
This lesson was not lost on Honesdale's coaching staff in the run-up to Monday night's ballgame at the Red Palace.
The Hornets unleashed a relentless defensive attack right from the opening tip, pressing endline-to-endline much to the delight of a big hometown crowd.
Before Dallas could react, Honesdale had raced out to a 13-0 lead and head coach Doug Miller was frantically signaling for a timeout.
The Mounties did finally figure out the Red & Black press, but the damage was already done. Thanks in large part to another huge outing from Kevin Miller, Honesdale cruised to a 73-63 triumph.
"We haven't been in the gym much because of the weather, so there are some things we definitely need to work on," Coach Tim Wood said of the game.
"But, overall I'm pretty pleased. We got out of here with a win and that's the most important thing."
This was the Hornets' fourth consecutive win to start the 2013-14 season.
Weather permitting, the Red & Black will return to the hardwood for back-to-back road games against Tunkhannock (Wednesday) and Pocono Mountain East (Friday).
The local lads don't return to the Red Palace until the Christmas Break when they open up defense of their Honesdale Jaycees Tourney title on Dec. 26.
Miller turned in another brilliant performance on Monday evening.
Kevin shredded every junk defense Dallas threw at him, finishing up the night with a game-high 26 points.
The senior sharpshooter ticked the twine for nine field goals, four of which came from deep behind the arc. Miller was money from the charity stripe as well, hitting four key free throws down the stretch.
Pat Hart also played a crucial role in this win.
A junior guard, Hart knocked down two crucial treys late in the second half. He closed out his night with 13 points and earned rave reviews from Coach Wood.
"Pat Hart really stepped up when we needed it the most," he said.
"Pat is a very smart. confident kid. He plays within himself and gives us good quality minutes every time he's out there."
Nick Casazza and Ian Langendoerfer contributed key plays, too.
A junior who's one of the quickest guards in the area, Casazza ran the break with abandon. Nick also played tireless defense, knocked down the occasional jumper and finished with 15 points.
"Nick did a terrific job for us tonight," said Coach Wood. "He's very athletic. Nick is most effective when he's running the court and attacking the basket."
Langendoerfer struggled offensively for a large part of the evening, but still managed to crack double figures for the Hornets.
Ian powered his way to 11 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Back & Forth
Honesdale rocketed out to a 22-9 lead after one and extended that advantage to 40-23 at intermission.
To their undying credit, the Mounties staged a wild second half rally. The visitors whittled the deficit down to just three points with less than three minutes to go in regulation.
Thankfully for the Red Palace faithful, Miller, Casazza and Langendoerfer converted their free throws in the waning moments.
"We struggled a times at the line, but the boys made them when they counted the most," said Coach Wood.
"Now, we're just hoping to get back into the gym, get some practices under our belt and build up our conditioning again."
Score by Quarters...
HON (4-0) 22 18 16 17 - 73
DAL (2-2) 9 14 17 23 - 63