Honesdale ended Scranton Prep's boys basketball season with an electrifying win in the Class AAA quarterfinals
Every single Hornet who set foot on the floor Friday night played a role in Honesdale's historic victory over Scranton Prep.
Kevin Miller once again acted as his team's unquestioned leader, making huge plays at both ends of the court.
Ian Langendoerfer looked more like a battle-tested senior than a sophomore, rattling the rims for a team-best 20 points.
Cole McConnell was relentless in the paint, refusing to back down from bigger players en route to nine crucial rebounds.
Gus Martin, Pat Hart and Nick Casazza also made major contributions against a high-flying Cavaliers squad.
Unquestionably, the Hornets couldn't have survived this District Two slugfest without any of those players. However, Kyle Carney was the difference in the game.
Honesdale's senior guard came off the bench at Carbondale Area and provided one crucial play after another.
Carney scored 11 points on the night, four of which came at the free throw line late in the fourth quarter when the game was still very much in doubt.
Thanks in large part to Kyle's inspired play and deadly free throw shooting, Honesdale defeated Prep in this District Two quarterfinal by a score of 60-54.
"Kyle is playing with a great deal of confidence right now," Coach Tim Wood said. "And, it couldn't come at a better time.
“Kyle is absolutely fearless out there. It doesn't matter how big the other guy is, if Kyle sees an opening he's going for it."
On the heels of this emotional victory, Honesdale moves on the Class AAA semifinals and a date with top-ranked Abington Heights.
"This was an unbelievably huge win for us as a team and for the program as a whole," Coach Wood said.
"Scranton Prep is an outstanding team and I'm incredibly proud of how well these boys played against them.
"That being said, we're going to enjoy this for about 14 hours, then start preparing for Abington Heights and whatever comes after that."
The Hornets and Comets will do battle for the second time this season Tuesday evening at Scranton High School. Opening tip is set for 7 p.m.
Prep controlled the tempo in the opening period, making a large contingent of Honesdale fans restless in the stands.
Sophomore sharpshooter Bobby Casey led the charge. The silky-smooth guard terrorized the Hornets both from behind the arc and at the free throw line.
Casey would top all scorers with 28 points on this night and lead the Cavs to a 17-12 lead after one period.
However, the Red & Black came roaring right back.
Langendoerfer was at the forefront of the assault, scoring six of him team-best 20 points in the second quarter as Honesdale seized a 33-27 lead.
"Ian was very determined to do well in this game," Coach Wood said. "He didn't think he played his best the first time around, so he was on a mission."
Langendoerfer was particularly deadly on the baseline and from behind the arc, knocking down four treys for the Hornets.
Miller also delivered clutch shots
"Great players love the big stage and Kevin Miller is a great high school basketball player," Coach Wood said. "We want the ball in his hands when the game's on the line."
Miller finished his night with 19 points on the strength of six field goals, two treys and a 5-for-6 stint at the charity stripe.
He also contributed nine rebounds and five assists.
Down the Stretch
Defense was the name of the game in the third period as both teams combined for just 15 points.
Prep scrapped and clawed early in the fourth quarter, whittling away at Honedale's lead.
The Cavs pulled to within one point at 46-45, but then Carney began working his magic.
Kyle dazzled at both ends of the floor and made his presence felt on the glass.
Carney attacked the basket on offense, twice slashing his way to the rim from the wing and winding up on the foul line. There, he was perfect, draining all four of his attempts as time wound down.
"I don't think you can overstate how important Kyle's contribution was tonight," said Coach Wood. "Every time we needed a big play, he came through."
As a team, Honesdale continued its torrid free throw shooting, which once again proved to be the difference in a tight game.
The Hornets went 15-for-17 at the stripe in a first round win and they were just as deadly in this quarterfinal, going 14-for-16.
That includes an 8-for-8 performance in the fourth against North Pocono and an eye-popping 12-for-12 versus Prep in the final stanza.
Score by Quarters...
HON (21-3) 12 21 6 21 - 60
SP (21-3) 17 10 9 18 - 54