Kevin Miller and Ian Langendoerfer paced the Red & Black to a razor-thin win.
Kevin Miller unleashed his full arsenal of athletic weaponry on Scranton Saturday night, much to the delight of a frenzied crowd at the Red Palace.
He directed Honesdale's offensive attack with pinpoint precision, crashed the boards at both ends of the floor and led a tenacious Red & Black defense that held the Knights to single digit scoring in each of the first two quarters.
"In my opinion, Kevin is the best point guard in the entire Lackawanna League, Divisions One through Four," Coach Tim Wood said.
"There really isn't anything he doesn't do well. Kevin is a complete basketball player."
Miller ignited Honesdale in the first half of this home opener against the Knights.
With Kevin running the show, the Hornets raced out to an 11-2 first quarter lead. They extended that advantage to 19-8 at intermission, then held on for an eventual 56-52 win.
With this victory, the local lads improved their overall record to 8-1 on the season. Coach Wood's squad is 1-0 in Division I.
"This was an excellent way to start the league season," he said. "Scranton is an up and coming team with some very good athletes.
"I think we played better in the first half, especially on defense. But, I'm very proud of the kids. They hung tough and never quit."
Weather permitting, Honesdale will return to action Tuesday evening on the road versus North Pocono. Opening tip is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. in Covington Township.
Ian Langendoerfer provides perfect counterpoint to Miller in Honesdale's scheme.
A tall, athletic sophomore who can play center or forward, Langendoerfer is equally comfortable in the paint or on the perimeter.
On Saturday night against Scranton, Langendoerfer had trouble finding his rhythm and range. He managed just four points by intermission, but cranked it up after the break.
"Ian definitely struggled offensively in the first half," said Coach Wood. "I give him a lot of credit, though. Ian has a scorer's mentality. He kept shooting and eventually came up with a couple of huge plays.
Two of those plays came late in the game. The first was a rim-rattling dunk that sent the Red Palace crowd into a frenzy. The second was a deep trey that extended Honesdale's lead to double digits one last time.
Langendoerfer finished with a game high 21 points on the strength of six field goals, a pair of deep treys and a 3-of-6 stint at the stripe.
While Ian saved his best for last, Kevin was brilliant from opening tip to final buzzer.
Miller dazzled in every aspect of the game.
He banged home one crucial shot after another. He played tireless defense, handled the ball against Scranton's press and repeatedly set his teammates up for easy baskets.
"Kevin is our field general out there, no question about it," said Coach Wood. "He sets the tone for us. He's a very good leader who sees the floor incredibly well."
Miller finished up with a game-best eight assists, and two of those brought roars from the crowd.
Kevin dribbled across midcourt with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. Just before he reached the timeline, a pair of Knights looked to pounce. Miller's reaction was instantaneous. He rifled a one-handed, no-look pass to the Langendoerfer along the baseline for an uncontested lay-up.
Then, with the final seconds ticking away, Kevin unleashed a second laserbeam to Cole McConnell in the low post for yet another easy bucket.
Miller would close out his night with 17 points, eight assists and six rebound. Even more crucially, he didn't miss a free throw down the stretch.
In fact, Honesdale went 10-for-10 from the line in the fourth period.
"That was critical," Coach Wood said. "We're a pretty good free throw shooting team, but tonight we were excellent, especially late in the game."
Over & Out
Honesdale protected a double digit lead deep into the second half, but Scranton staged a furious fourth quarter rally.
Led by Sean Padden and Sadeed Johnson, the Knights almost completely erased that margin. Padden paced the assault with a team-best 14 points, while Johnson added 11.
Cody Miller stepped back to drain two key treys and wound up with eight points.
The Hornets countered with Nick Casazza, who contributed 10 points to the cause, including two crucial free throws.
Pat Hart and McConnell rounded out the Red & Black scoring with four points apiece.
Score by Quarters...
HON (8-1) 11 8 18 19 - 56
SCR (3-5) 2 6 19 25 - 52