Honesdale and Wallenpaupack Area Will Meet Friday in Divisional Action
On a night when a win just didn't seem to be in the cards, Colin Rickard and Chris Cespedes stepped up and carried Honesdale to victory.
The Hornets trailed visiting Delaware Valley late in the second half of this Lackawanna League contest, battling both a scrappy Warrior squad and mounting foul issues.
However, neither Rickard nor Cespedes was willing to throw in the towel. Colin knocked down three crucial free throws in the waning moments, while Chris powered his way to six late points.
The result was an electrifying 61-52 comeback win for the Red & Black and their first Division II triumph of the young season.
“I am very happy with the way we performed this evening,” Coach Wood said. “Delaware Valley is a quality opponent. They're well-coached and they have the returning Player of the Year. I really like the way we played as a team tonight and the way we battled back when facing adversity.”
With this win, Honesdale improved its overall record to 6-6. The Hornets are now 1-2 in divisional action.
Weather permitting, the local lads will be back on the hardwood Friday night at archrival Wallenpaupack Area. Opening tip is slated for 7:05 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live on Blue Ridge Cable Channel 613.
Back & Forth
Honesdale powered its way to a 17-14 lead after one, then extended that advantage to 29-23 by intermission.
Rickard put on a show in the opening stanza, scoring 11 points including a pair of deep treys. Cespedes tallied two buckets in the paint while Joey Scarfalloto chipped in with a deuce.
Scarfalloto was nothing short of dominant on the glass. Joey hauled down a game-high 13 rebounds on the night, nine of which came at the offensive end.
“Joey was a man among boys on the boards tonight,” Coach Wood said. “Even when he got into a little bit of foul trouble, he still when after it hard. Joey was a huge difference maker.”
DV ignited a run in the third period, outscoring the Hornets by a margin of 15-6. Blake Gearhart paced the Warrior assault. The reigning Division II Player of the Year knocked down five treys on the night and finished with 21 points.
Cespedes supplied the answer in the final period, though. Despite being saddled with four fouls, Chris tallied six points in the waning minutes, four of which came at the foul line.
“Chris just continues to develop as a player,” Coach Wood said. “He's a talented young man, but he also works very hard at his game. Chris came up with some key rebounds there in the fourth quarter.”
Cespedes wound up with 11 points and 9 boards.
Rickard would close out the game with 19 points. He also grabbed four rebounds, handed out three assists and snared three steals.
“Colin played a very good all-around game,” said Coach Wood. “I'm very happy with the decisions he made and how he helped keep everyone calm.”
One of the biggest plays in the game came with less than three minutes remaining in regulation when Will Howell pulled up and hammered home a deep trey from the wing.
“That was a huge shot,” Coach Wood said. “Will is a very smart player who understands his role in our offense. I feel very comfortable with Will taking that shot. He has a green light to shoot that pretty much anytime.”
Howell tallied five points on the night.
Jimmy Rodda played a crucial role against DV as well. The sophomore forward came off the bench when Scarfalloto and Cespedes encountered foul trouble and contributed some quality minutes.
Rodda scored eight points, hauled down eight boards and earned high marks from his skipper.
“Jimmy made some mistakes early in the game, but he kept his cool and made huge contributions down the stretch,” Coach Wood said. “Jimmy is a player people need to keep an eye on going forward.”
Rodda has the ability to take over a game at the offensive end. In fact, he just recently erupted for 26 points, including four treys, in a JV game against Valley View.
Rounding out the scoring for Honesdale in the win over DV were Luke bancroft (six pts) and Robbie Campen (two pts).
When Honesdale takes the court Friday night for its battle with Wallenpaupack Area, all eyes will be on the two teams' stars.
The Hornets are paced by Chris Cespedes, an athletic junior power forward who's capable of throwing down a thunderous dunk at any moment in the game.
The Buckhorns are led by Elijah Rosenthal, a junior guard who is among the Lackawanna League leaders in three-point shooting.
Both squads also feature depth and experience in a game that promises to be wildly entertaining.
“Paupack has been very successful so far this year,” Coach Wood said. They have a strong inside presence and some kids who can really shoot it from the perimeter.
“They're our archrivals and we're going in there to play them on their home court. We know it's going to be a hostile environment and we have to be ready mentally and physically.”