Lady Hornets are champions of the holiday event for a second straight year

For a second straight year, Honesdale’s girls freshmen basketball team celebrated the holiday season in the best way possible.

Under the direction of veteran coach Jess Roberts, the Lady Hornets posted back-to-back wins and captured their own tournament title.

The Red & Black crushed Hanover Area in the semifinals, then cruised to a lopsided win over North Pocono in the championship game.

“The girls really played well and I’m proud of them,” Coach Roberts said. “This group has been together a long time. They have very good chemistry and play like a family.”

With these two victories, Honesdale improved its overall record to 3-2 on the season. Next up for the Lady Hornets is their Lackawanna League opener against Holy Cross on Saturday.

Opening tip is slated for 11 a.m. in Dunmore.

Solid Start

Honesdale opened up its 2018-19 campaign with a solid win against Lake Lehman.

The Lady Hornets then suffered hard-fought losses to Tunkhannock and Hazleton Area, but bounced back with another victory over Stroudsburg.

This set the stage for the school’s annual holiday tournament, which featured four teams: Honesdale, North Pocono, Hanover and Wallenpaupack Area.

The local lasses drew Hanover in the first semifinal and simply dominated an outmanned Hawkeye squad en route to a 56-18 win.

Chloe Lyle paced a balanced Red & Black attack in this one. A talented and hard-working forward, Lyle rattled the rims for a game-high 14 points. She also hauled down five rebounds.

Katie Ludwig ran the offense with clinical precision from her point guard position. She tallied nine points, snagged four rebounds, snared three steals and handed out five assists.

“Katie is an excellent basketball player,” Coach Roberts said. “She has great ball handling skills. I think Katie is going to do very well at the next level.”

Abbie Hessling also contributed key plays to the cause, powering her way to nine points in the paint.

While Honesdale was busy punching its ticket to the finals, North Pocono advanced to the gold medal contest with an impressive win over Paupack.

This year’s championship game was played Friday, December 28 in the high school gym.

Once again, Honesdale got off to a fast start thanks to a combination of balanced scoring and relentless defense.

“I think that’s definitely the strength of our team this season,” Coach Roberts said. “We like to press and trap and that creates a lot of turnovers.”

Ludwig led the way.

Katie tickled the twine for a game-high 15 points. She also ignited the defense with five steals.

Olivia Canfield rose to the occasion against North Pocono as well. Another lightning-quick guard, Canfield scored 13 points. She also added five rebounds and four steals.

Kady Giannetti chipped in with six points and three steals, while Paige Fiume checked in with six points and two boards.

This one was never in doubt as the Lady Hornets rolled to a 43-23 victory.

Over & Out

Honesdale now moves on to the Lackawanna League wars and the toughest portion of its schedule.

“I’m not really sure what to expect when we play Holy Cross,” Coach Roberts said. “They haven’t had a freshman team in quite awhile, but they have a very strong program overall.”

The Lady Hornets return home on Monday for a battle with perennial powerhouse Abington Heights. They’ll then hit the road for a non-league game at Tunkhannock.

“This is definitely one of the better teams I’ve had,” Coach Roberts said.

“The girls are working hard and getting better every day. I’m excited to see what they can do the rest of the season.”