Hundreds of fans turn out to watch Honesdale battle Scranton Prep on the hardwood
The Lady Hornets dominated Scranton Prep for more than three quarters of Thursday night's Lackawanna League showdown.
Honesdale used relentless defense and timely scoring to carry a 26-24 lead into the final period ... just eight minutes away from one of the season's biggest upsets to date.
Alas for a capacity hometown crowd, the Red & Black just couldn't seal the deal.
Prep seized momentum down the stretch of this Division I-II crossover game and escaped with a stunning 43-34 victory.
"We had a very good gameplan and we executed it perfectly for the first three quarters," said Coach Pilar Beam. "We just couldn't close it out. We need to play better late in games."
With this loss, Honesdale saw its record fall to 11-6 on the season. The Lady Hornets are 5-4 in Division II competition.
Prep improved its mark to a sparkling 17-1 for the year. The Classics' lone loss came to Dunmore, 30-28, early in the season.
"They're a good team, but we were up on them into the fourth quarter," Coach Beam said. "I'm happy with the effort, but we'll go back to the drawing board and see where we can improve."
Honesdale will be back on the hardwood Monday evening against Western Wayne. Opening tip for that contest is set for 7:15 p.m. here in the Maple City.
Katie Miller paced the Red & Black attack in the early going against Prep.
Miller brought a roar from the crowd by scoring the game's first bucket on a sweet left-handed baby hook in the lane.
Honesdale's all-star junior guard would go on to tally nine of her team-best 10 points in the first half.
Kristen Schmale and Amber Watkins also made their presence felt early on in the low post.
A senior center, Schmale enjoyed a solid all-round game. Kristen powered her way to three baskets, went 3-for-5 at the line, hauled down nine rebounds and recorded three blocks.
Watkins also contributed key plays in the paint. The junior forward scored six points and battled her way to seven rebounds.
Thanks in large part to the play of these three girls, Honesdale embarked on a 16-6 second quarter run and took a 21-14 lead into the lockerroom at intermission.
"Holding a team like Scranton Prep to only 14 points at halftime is a pretty good accomplishment," Coach Beam said. "They were having a really hard time handling our press."
Honesdale's shooting went ice cold in the third period and Prep was quick to take advantage.
Tricia Byrne, one of the Lackawanna League's top scoring threats, was held to only three points in the first half. However, Byrne came to life after the break.
She attacked the basket at every opportunity, forcing Lady Hornet defenders to foul her repeatedly. Byrne put on a clinic at the stripe, knocking down 10-of-11 free throw attempts.
Byrne and teammate Bridget Walsh combined for 22 points on the night, while Clare Philbin chipped in with eight.
The Classics surged into the lead for good midway through the fourth quarter, limiting the Red & Black to just 13 points in the entire second half.
Stacy Hart (five pts), Morgan Birmelin (two) and Alexis Pfeil (two) rounded out Honesdales' scoring.
For the sixth time in the past seven years, Honesdale has set aside one game to raise money and awareness for the plight of local cancer patients.
On Thursday evening, coaches, players and fans wore special "Think Pink" t-shirts
"Cancer has affected every one of us in some way," Coach Beam pointed out. "We all have friends or family members who've had to battle this disease.
"I'm very proud of how hard the girls worked to make this night happen."
All funds generated for "Think Pink" will be donated to the local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Score by Quarters...
HON (11-6) 5 16 5 8 - 34
PREP (17-1) 8 6 10 9 - 43