Lady Hornets off to a stellar start on the freshmen hoops scene

If the performance of this year's freshmen team is a valid indicator, the future of Honesdale girls basketball looks bright indeed.

Despite a dearth of raw numbers, the young Lady Hornets are off to a stellar start for the 2017-18 season.

Under the direction of fifth year head coach Jess Roberts, the Red & Black have won two of their first three contests. Included among these victories was a wild one over North Pocono in the championship game of Honesdale's annual winter tournament.

“The girls have really been working hard and they are making great strides,” Coach Roberts said. “We have good chemistry. It's a nice mix of freshmen and a few eighth graders.”

Following the holiday hiatus, Honesdale was scheduled to be back in action Tuesday night versus archrival Wallenpaupack.

Weather permitting, the local lasses will travel to Hancock for a non-league game with the Wildcats on Thursday. Opening tip is slated for 4 p.m.

Bouncing Back

Honesdale opened up its season with a hard-fought loss at the hands of perennial powerhouse Abington Heights.

However, the Lady Hornets bounced right back to post two straight wins and capture this year's winter tournament title.

Coach Roberts' squad started sluggishly against Hanover Area, but caught fire in the second quarter and rolled to a 52-29 win.

“The best thing about that game is that everyone contributed,” she said. “All eight girls played and all eight girls scored.”

Grace Maxson paced the Red & Black attack. The Honesdale captain rattled the rims for a game-high 16 points and earned high marks from her mentor.

“Grace is an excellent leader on and off the court,” Coach Roberts said. “She has a good head on her shoulders. Grace sets a very good example, especially for our younger players.”

Maxson was aided and abetted by Katie Grund and Abby Meagher, who tallied 10 points apiece.

Kady Giannetti chipped in with eight, while Rowan Murray, Mia Land, Hannah McConnell and Tess Meagher added six each.

“That was a good win,” Coach Roberts said. “It was nice to get that first one under our belts.”

Champions

North Pocono advanced to the tournament title tilt, defeating Wallenpaupack Area in the semis.

The Trojans came into the championship game on a roll, having won five consecutive wins. However, they met their match in a fired-up Honesdale squad that eventually posted a 37-32 decision.

“That was a tough one,” Coach Roberts admitted. “North Pocono is a good team. We were down for about three-quarters of the game before we finally took the lead.”

Land led a balanced Lady Hornet attack, scoring a team-best 10 points.

“I really like what I've been seeing from Mia,” said Coach Roberts. “She has a strong jump-shot and she makes very good decisions on the court. I think Mia has a very bright future.”

Maxson turned in another solid performance, powering her way to 10 points. Giannetti delivered in the clutch, finishing with eight points including a pair of key free throws.

Coach Roberts was particularly pleased with the play of Giannetti and Tess Meagher, who form a potent 1-2 punch at the point. Meagher is the starter and Giannetti is first off the bench.

“Tess is very tough and spunky,” she said. “Kady always gives us a real spark when she goes in there. They both do a great job.”

Murray and Grund rounded out the scoring with four apiece.

This emotional victory marked Honesdale's first winter tournament title in more than five years.

“It was a very pleasant surprise,” Coach Roberts said. “I like the way things are going right now. If the girls stay focused and keep working hard, this could be a rally good season.”