The Hornets spotted Nazareth a double digit lead after one period in the championship game of this year's Jaycees Holiday Basketball Tournament.
However, Honesdale dominated the next two quarters, completely erasing that early deficit and taking a 46-42 advantage into the final stanza.
Unfortunately for a raucous Red Palace crowd, the visiting Eagles had one more big run left in them. Nazareth rallied to tie the score, force overtime and then dominate the extra session.
The result was a heartbreaking loss and a runner-up finish for Honesdale. The final score was 68-62.
"I think the main thing we tonight is that we can't spot a good team like Nazareth 10 points and expect to have an easy time coming back," Coach Tim Wood said.
"That being said, we were one defensive stop away from winning in regulation. I really like how resilient this team is."
This was Honesdale's first loss of the season after coming out of the gate with seven straight victories.
The Hornets now brace themselves for the start of the Lackawanna League campaign. Coach Wood's lads will host their home opener Friday night against Scranton.
JV action tips at 6 p.m. with varsity to follow at approximately 7:15 p.m.
"We open up against another very good team who just got their best player back this weekend," Coach Wood said. "Scranton is going to come in here ready to play, but I think our boys will be up to the challenge."
Nazareth is no stranger to the Jaycees Holiday Tournament championship game.
Since the Eagles were added to the fray in 2008, they've won four titles and been runners-up once.
Page 2 of 3 - So, it wasn't exactly a surprise when Coach Joe Arndt's squad overwhelmed Paupack in the semis and then raced out to a quick lead against Honesdale in the title tilt.
Thanks in large part to the play of Austin Cordero and Brett Kline, Nazareth held a 14-4 lead after eight minutes of action.
A senior guard, Cordero was deadly from behind the arc. He dialed up four long-distance treys, went a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line, finished with 18 points amd earned himself a berth on the All-Tourney Team.
Kline was even more impressive. The Eagles' junior ballhandler rattled the rims for a team-best 22 points en route to the tournament's Most Valuable Player trophy.
Honesdale's offense came to life in the second quarter and remained on fire until late in the fourth.
Ian Langendoerfer rose to the occasion on this particular night.
The sophomore forward scored in just about every way imaginable, from acrobatic baskets in transition to rainbow jays from behind the arc.
Langendoerfer hit three field goals, but was devastating from Three Point Land, hammering home five treys. He also swished three foul shots and wound up his night with a game-high 24 points and earned All-Tourney status.
"Ian has been working very hard to become a more complete player," Coach Wood said.
"I've been particularly impressed by his improvement on defense. If Ian continues to work as hard as he has been, then the sky's the limit."
The Hornets outscored Nazareth by a margin of 20-14 in the second quarter, closing the gap to 28-24. Eight minutes later, Honesdale had itself the lead after a 22-14 run in the third.
Kevin Miller, Nick Casazza and Pat Hart figured prominently in this turnaround.
Page 3 of 3 - Last year's tourney MVP, Miller authored another stellar stat line versus Nazareth. Kevin scored 15 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out eight assists.
Casazza played his usual tireless defense, harassing Eagle ballhandlers all night long and still finding time to tally nine points.
Hart took just five shots in the title tilt, but translated them into nine points. None of Pt's shots was bigger than the clutch trey he knocked down as time expired in the third period.
The Hornets and Eagles battled to a 59-59 stalemate at the end of regulation.
However, Nazareth outplayed Honesdale in the 4-minute extra session to claim a 68-62 decision.
JJ Kassis led the charge, scoring four of his 14 points in overtime. He was aided and abetted by Zac Talmage, who drained a key three and Cordero, who swished both of his free throw attempts.
Hart's final trifecta accounted for the Red & Black's final points.
Score by Quarters...
HON (7-1) 4 20 22 13 3 - 62
NAZ (6-1) 14 14 14 17 9 - 68