Lady Hornets drop a heartbreaking Senior Night decision to Valley View
A big, appreciative crowd turned out this weekend to honor five players who've meant a great deal to the Honesdale girls basketball program the past four years.
Caroline Tuman, Emily Theobald, Faith Howell, Corinne Casazza and Riley Barton were feted in an emotional pre-game ceremony before Friday night's Lackawanna League clash with Valley View.
“I've been with these girls since they were in seventh grade,” Coach Pilar Beam said. “I've seen them grow as basketball players and as people. They've been great leaders on and off the court and I'm really going to miss them.”
Led by these five battle-tested players, the Lady Hornets gave Valley View all it could handle on this particular night.
The Red & Black fell behind 13-4 in the early going, but clawed their way back into contention with balanced scoring and solid defense.
When the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation, the score stood tied and overtime loomed. Sadly for Maple City fans, the visiting Cougars prevailed in the extra session en route to a 42-39 victory.
“I'm very proud of these girls,” Coach Beam said. “They battled and never quit. Valley View is a good team and we took them right down to the very end.”
All five seniors played key roles in Friday night's game versus the Cougars.
However, it was a junior who paced the Red & Black offensive attack.
Courtney Varcoe, who splits her time between the JV and varsity squads, turned in one of her best efforts of the season.
Varcoe rattled the rims for a team-best 12 points. She tallied four field goals and knocked down 4-of-5 free throw attempts.
“This was Courtney's best game,” Coach Beam said.
“She did a great job. Courtney really attacks the boards at both ends of the court. I'm excited to see what she can do the rest of this season and next year.”
Valley View raced out to a big early lead, but the Lady Hornets refused to fold. The local lasses closed the deficit to 22-19 at intermission, then knotted things 33-all.
Unfortunately for local fans, Honesdale's well-documented struggles at the charity stripe proved fatal down the stretch.
The Red & Black would lose this game by three points … and a 12-for-23 performance at the line spelled doom.
“It's been a problem all season,” Coach Beam said. “We work hard on our foul shooting, but we just aren't consistent enough during the games.”
Olivia Chieffallo led the offensive assault for Valley View. The deadeye senior guard tallied a game-high 13 points, hammering home three treys along the way.
For Honesdale, Tuman contributed nine to the cause, while Casazza added seven. Theobald tallied five and Howell had three.
Alexa Jones (three) and Sarah Keast (one) rounded out the scoring.
Tuman has been the Lady Hornets top threat all year long. The senior center is averaging 10.1 points and nine rebounds per game.
“Caroline has been an excellent leader,” Coach Beam said. “She's a very strong presence in the paint. Caroline has worked really hard and improved so much in the past two years.”
Theobald has developed into one of the division's most versatile players. Honesdale's power forward is equally adept at playing in the post or stepping out to knock down a jumper.
Emily is averaging more than eight points and seven rebounds per game.
“I think Emily has a very bright future,” Coach Beam said. “She's a really good player and a really good student as well.”
Howell bounced back from a pre-season injury to re-claim her spot in the starting line-up. Faith is the team's best ball-handler and can always be counted upon for a clutch trey.
“As I've said in the past, we're a different team when Faith is out there,” Coach Beam said. “She sees the court so well. All of our offense runs through Faith and she's also a very good defender.”
Casazza is the squad's emotional leader. Corinne is among the team leaders in several key categories, including steals, assists and rebounds.
“Corinne just never lets up,” Coach Beam said.
“She is always hustling, always giving 100 percent. Corinne does all the little things that make a team better and she plays like a six-footer.”
Barton is a versatile role player who contributes as a starter and off the bench.
“Riley always gives us a spark when she's on the court,” said Coach Beam. “She really stepped up when Faith was hurt. Riley always picks her teammates up and is always positive.”
Score by Quarters...
HON (6-15) 4 15 6 8 6 - 39
VAL (5-16) 13 9 7 4 9 - 42