Boys and girls teams advance to tournament finals
Local high school fans were treated to a pair of dominant performances by the host team on Day One of the Jaycees Holiday Classic.
Honesdale’s girls varsity squad raced out to a big early lead, then coasted to a 62-48 win over Western Wayne Tuesday night.
This victory catapulted the Lady Hornets into the championship game against Wallenpaupack Area. The Buckhorns punched their ticket to the finals with a 68-38 decision over Forest City.
“We had four girls in double figures and when we do that, we’re tough to beat,” said Head Coach Pilar Beam.
Meanwhile, on the boys side of the bracket, Honesdale was every bit as impressive in rolling to yet another berth in the gold medal game.
The Hornets wasted no time taking control of their semifinal encounter with Lake Lehman. Coach Tim Wood’s lads led by six after one period and by 17 at intermission en route to en eventual 70-36 win.
“Playing in the Jaycees Tournament every year is something we all look forward to,” he said.
“The Jaycees are a great organization and they do a lot of good in the community. It’s an honor to be the host team.”
The Red & Black will square off against East Stroudsburg South in the title tilt. The Cavaliers blasted Paupack 58-21 in the other semifinal.
Weather permitting, the 58th annual tournament will conclude Thursday night.
The girls consolation contest between Forest City and Western Wayne will tip-off at 5:45 p.m. in the high school gym. This will be followed by the Lady Hornets and Buckhorns in the championship game at about 7:15 p.m.
Boys action gets underway in the middle school at 6:30 p.m. with the grand finale slated for an 8 p.m. start.
Hannah Smith and Megan Guerrierri paced a potent offensive assault for Paupack in its semifinal battle with Forest City.
This dynamic junior duo terrorized the Foresters from beyond the arc in leading the Buckhorns to a 68-38 victory.
Smith knocked down three deep treys, went 4-for-4 at the free throw line and finished with a game-high 19 points. Guerrieri was every bit as impressive, burying three treys of her own en route to 17 points.
Tabitha Boyd balanced this perimeter attack with a powerful performance in the paint. The senior center muscled her way to 15 points while also hauling down nine rebounds.
Forest City was led by Maggie Kovaleski (11 pts) and Skylar Fortuner (10).
In the nightcap of this girls division double dip, Honesdale quickly took control of its semifinal tussle with Western Wayne.
The Lady Hornets relied on a combination of high pressure defense and balanced offense to post a 62-48 triumph.
Alexa Jones powered her way to a team-best 15 points in the post. She was aided and abetted by Camden Bannan who finished up with 13.
“Camden is very poised,” Coach Beam said. “She's a very smart player who does pretty much everything well. Camden is scrappy on defense and she runs the offense with patience.”
Courtney Varcoe (12) and Sarah Keast (11) also contributed key buckets.
Honesdale opened up a 20-8 lead after one, then extended that advantage to 33-18 at intermission.
Keast came alive in the second half, scoring all 11 of her points after the break. Taylor Maxson and Nicole Longman chipped in with five points apiece.
Western Wayne was paced by the 1-2 punch of Gracie Guarino and Hannah Roedel. The former rattled the rims for a game-high 22 points, while the latter tickled the twine for 17.
Wallenpaupack Area came into Tuesday night's contest with a sparkling overall record of 6-1.
Unfortunately for the Buckhorns, that lone loss came at the hands of East Stroudsburg South, which turned out to be their opponent at the Jaycees Holiday Tournament.
Coach Chris Strong's lads struggled once again against an explosive, athletic ESS squad and suffered a lopsided 58-21 setback.
The backcourt duo of senior Greg Eck and sophomore Jeremiah Anderson proved to be Paupack's undoing, combining for 38 points.
The Cavaliers held the Buckhorns to single digit scoring in all four quarters, running up a 39-9 lead by intermission.
Paupack was paced by five points each from Derrick Vosburg and Gabriel Springer.
The evening's final contest saw Honesdale take the floor against Lake Lehman before a big, raucous Red Palace crowd.
And, Coach Wood's lads didn't disappoint. The Hornets broke open what began as a competitive game by catching fire in the middle two periods. The Red & Black outscored the Knights by a margin of 45-18 in the third and fourth periods.
Colin Rickard was top gun for Honesdale, slicing and dicing his way to a game-high 21. The silky smooth junior guard did the majority of his damage in the third, pouring in 11.
Chris Cespedes and Anthony DeGori also starred, tallying 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Joey Scrafalloto pulled down 10 rebounds and Noah Pender added seven.
DeGori contributed six assists and four steals to the cause, while Rickard dished four dimes.