Lady Hornets work hard to raise cancer awareness

Old Man Winter has been particularly rough on Honesdale’s girls varsity basketball team lately.

Thanks to multiple school delays, early dismissals and cancellations, practice time has been at a premium for the Lady Hornets.

“I’m not gonna lie, it has definitely hurt us,” Coach Pilar Beam said prior to Monday night’s Lackawanna League battle with West Scranton.

“There really isn’t much we can do about it, though. We just have to make the best of it. We have to go out there, play hard and let the chips fall where they may.”

The local lasses did indeed play hard in this one, but they also looked a bit rusty in the early going.

West Scranton scored the game’s first six points and opened up an 18-8 lead after one. The Invaders increased that advantage to 31-15 at intermission, then staved off a late rally en route to a 51-43 decision.

With this loss, Honesdale saw its overall record fall to 5-11 on the season. The Lady Hornets are 1-5 in divisional action.

Weather permitting, the Red & Black will be back on the court Saturday at Scranton High School. Opening tip is set for 2:45 p.m. in the Electric City.

Sluggish Start

West Scranton used a suffocating defense in building an early lead Monday night.

The Invaders forced turnovers in each of Honesdale’s first three possessions, then promptly turned them into points.

Nya Johnson led the way. The sharp-shooting junior guard knocked down a trey and then hit a short runner in the lane.

Johnson would close out her night with a game high 20 points. She tallied three field goals, dialed up two treys and went 8-for-15 at the free throw line.

Tatum Repshis also contributed key plays to the Invaders cause. Another highly-regarded junior, Repshis rattled the rims for 16 points including two threes of her own.

Honesdale struggled in the first half and trailed by 16 at halftime. However, the Lady Hornets played much better after the break.

Led by Camden Bannan and Alexa Jones, the Red & Black outscored the visitors by a margin of 28-20 in the third and fourth quarters.

Bannan was Honesdale’s top gun. A senior guard, Camden tickled the twine for a team-best 12 points. She drained a pair of treys and went 4-for-6 at the charity stripe.

Jones flexed her muscles in the paint, tallying 11 points and grabbing eight boards.

Nicole Longman and Rowan Murray also contributed to the offensive attack with six apiece.

Rounding out the Honesdale scoring were: Taylor Maxson (four pts), Lily Fries (two pts) and Sophia Goyette (two pts).

Think Pink

While Monday’s basketball game was undeniably exciting, it just isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things.

Over the course of the past 10 years, though, Honesdale has used the high school hardwood as a platform to launch a genuinely important program.

The annual event was originally called “Think Pink,” but this benefit contest now goes by the moniker “Hoops for Hope.”

Regardless of the name, the goal of the game is to raise funds and awareness for the war against cancer.

“It’s such a terrible thing,” said Coach Beam, whose own father recently battled the insidious disease. “Every one of us has been affected by cancer either directly or indirectly. And, we’re just trying to do something to help.”

The Lady Hornets have once again teamed up with their counterparts on the boys varsity squad. Together, they are selling t-shirts, holding bake sales and organizing 50-50 raffles.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Wayne Memorial Hospital’s cancer unit.

“It’s very important to us that the money stays local,” Coach Beam said. “The girls are working really hard and they want to give back to the community.”

The boys’ version of this year’s event is called “Shooting for a Cure.”

If Mother Nature deigns to cooperate, it will be held Saturday, February 2 against Scranton High.

Opening tip is tentatively scheduled for 6:45 p.m. at the Red Palace.