Opening night at the 48th Annual Honesdale Area Jaycees Holiday Basketball Tournament went off without a hitch Thursday here in the Maple City.

Opening night at the 48th Annual Honesdale Area Jaycees Holiday Basketball Tournament went off without a hitch Thursday here in the Maple City.

Hundreds of fans packed the stands in both the high school and middle school gyms to see some exciting scholastic hoops.

“We’re very happy with the turnout,” Jaycees secretary and tournament organizer Brian Haun told TWI Sports. “This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, so we appreciate the support we get from the community. We’re looking forward to an exciting night with Honesdale and Wallenpaupack in both championship games.”

In opening round action on the boys side, Wallenpaupack Area had no trouble with Saint Michael’s. The Buckhorns leapt out to a huge 25-3 first quarter lead, then cruised home for an 81-19 triumph.

Paupack will battle Honesdale in tonight’s championship game. The Hornets fought off a spirited challenge from Western Wayne, holding on to post a 64-57 victory.

The Knights and ‘Cats will tip-off their consolation game at 6:30 p.m. this evening in the Red Palace. Paupack and Honesdale will follow in the title tilt, which is tentatively slated for an 8:00 p.m. start.

On the girls side of the ledger, Paupack barely broke a collective sweat in advancing to yet another Jaycees’ final.

The Lady Bucks dominated Western Wayne, building an insurmountable 23-3 lead after one quarter. Coach Bob Donovan’s girls then coasted to an impressive 66-36 decision.

In the nightcap, Honesdale played its trademark brand of relentless defense in handing Forest City a resounding defeat.

The Lady Hornets held the Foresters to single digit scoring in all four quarters en route to a solid 41-25 victory.

Tonight’s consolation game will feature Western Wayne and Forest City. That contest is set for a 5:45 p.m. tip. The title  tilt will follow directly thereafter, a game featuring ancient rivals Honesdale and Paupack.

The championship game is slated to begin at approximately 7:15 p.m.
Stay tuned to TWI Sports for complete coverage of the 48th Annual Honesdale Area Jaycees Holiday Tournament.

Lady Bucks Roll

Wallenpaupack Area girls Coach Bob Donovan had a very specific gameplan in place for Thursday night’s contest with Western Wayne.

He wanted his Lady Bucks to play up-tempo and put pressure on Wildcat ballhandlers. Coach Donovan’s intuition was that Paupack’s athleticism and quickness in the backcourt would carry the day. He was right.

The Lady Bucks harassed Western Wayne guards right from the opening tip, forcing one turnover after another. The result was predictable: a big Paupack lead and an inside track on the title tilt.

“We started the game in a fullcourt press and that seemed to take them out of rhythm,” Coach Donovan said. “I liked our intensity, especially at the start of the first and third quarters. I think it was important to get off to a fast start and we did. That was one of the keys to the game.”

Western Wayne bounced back in the second quarter and chipped away at the Lady Bucks’ huge lead. Emily Prussia and Charlcie Brink led the way for the Lady ‘Cats. Prussia ended her night with a game-high 16 points, while Brink contributed 10 to the cause.

Paupack received the majority of its points from the deadly 1-2 combo of Gina Palazzi and Jessica Bonney.

Palazzi has been on a roll thus far in the 2007-‘08 campaign. Gina earned MVP honors at the Hawley Rotary Tip-Off Classic and she appears to be well on the way to an all-star berth in this tournament.

Palazzi scored 15 Thursday on the strength of five field goals and a 5-for-8 stint at the charity stripe.

“Gina’s becoming more and more comfortable in the offense,” Coach Donovan said. “She’s an excellent athlete and very aggressive. We always knew she had the was just a matter of getting experience at the varsity level.”

Bonney also tallied 15 in the win. Jessica is a versatile player who can hurt the opposition both in the paint and from the perimeter. She hammered home a pair of treys to help put Western Wayne away for good.

Score by Quarters...
WA     23   10   19   14 - 66
WW     3    14   10     9 - 36

Lady Hornets Dominate

Honesdale also used pressure defense to take early control of its game with Forest City.

Kayla Hartley and Lucrezia “Grace” Manzione combined to give the Foresters fits from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

Hartley erupted for a game high 14 points. Honesdale’s senior point guard nailed a trey and tallied five field goals.

Manzione chipped in with six points and was a terror at the defensive end. Grace came up with three steals and a pair of assists.

Also contributing to the Red & Black attack were: Kara Brussell (five pts), Brita Krempasky (four pts), Kim Martin (four pts), Jessica Martin (three pts).

With the win, Honesdale improved its record to 5-4. The loss was Forest City’s eighth in a row. Coach Carl Urbas’ girls have yet to post a win in 2007-‘08.

Score by Quarters...
HHS     10   15   8   8 - 41
FC         3     8    9   5 - 25

Buckhorn Pride

Thirteen different Buckhorns found their way into the scoring column as Wallenpaupack outdueled the Knights.

Dustin Morgan led the way with a game-high 14 points. He was aided & abetted by teammate Mike Keane, who tallied 10 points. Isaiah Slutter added nine points. Tim Silsby, Steven Hyduchak and Kevin Gumble chipped in with eight apiece.

The Bucks led by 22 after one period, then extended that advantage to 49-10 at intermission. Coach George Werthmuller substituted liberally all throughout the second half.

Score by Quarters...
WA     25   24   18   14 - 81
SM      3     7     4     5 - 19

Hornets Hang On

Without question, the best game of the evening was the finale...a spirited battle between longtime local rivals Honesdale and Western Wayne.

The Wildcats came into the contest on the heels of a solid performance at the Forest City Rotary Tournament. Coach Ken Hemmler’s lads lost by just a single point to highly-regarded Mountain View, then blew out St. Rose to capture third place in the 35th annual event.

On Thursday, the ‘Cats over-came a sluggish start and hung with the Hornets until the wan-ing moments of the game.

Cody Yedinak and Arich Bo-guski each turned in a stellar performance for Western Wayne. Yedinak nailed a pair of timely treys on his way to a 15-point outing. Boguski also scored 15, but did the majority of his damage in the paint.

Meanwhile, Joe Tierney was busy putting together a career night for the Red & Black.
A silky-smooth senior guard, Tierney slashed his way to a game-high 25 points. Joe hit a long-distance trey and seven field goals. He also went a perfect 8-for-8 from the line.
Jesse Mellin also brought his ‘A’ Game to the floor. A senior tri-captain, Mellin fought his way to 13 points in the low post via six field goals.

Score by Quarters...
HHS     11   17   15   21 - 64
WW       8   15   12   22 - 57