Lady Hornets’ swishes come true

By TED WADDELL
Posted 2/12/20

HONESDALE, PA — There’s nothing like a rousing comeback staged by the home team, and a win on senior recognition night makes it even sweeter.

On February 3, the Lady Hornets of …

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Lady Hornets’ swishes come true

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HONESDALE, PA — There’s nothing like a rousing comeback staged by the home team, and a win on senior recognition night makes it even sweeter.

On February 3, the Lady Hornets of Honesdale (7-13) hosted the Wallenpaupack Lady Buckhorns (4-7) in a girls’ varsity basketball matchup between teams that are both working their way through rebuilding years.

Before the tipoff, Honesdale High honored their quartet of upperclassmen during a spirited senior recognition ceremony before a packed house, under a banner reading “May all your swishes come true.”

Honesdale veteran coach Ron Rowe is finishing off his first season as head of the girls’ varsity hoopsters after a long stint in the school’s basketball programs. His opponent, Roy Gibbs, marked his 40th year at the helm of the Lady Buckhorns.

The Lady Hornets have posted several notable accomplishments over the years. These hardwood exploits are immortalized on banners hanging in the gym: Eight players reached 1,000 points or more during their high school career, including a separate banner devoted to Maggie Meagher shows she racked up 1,515 points from 1986-1990; PIAA District II champs in 1991, 1992, 2012, 2013 and 2015; and Lackawanna League champs 1988, 1992 and 1996.

In Monday’s 49-27 win over the Lady Buckhorns, Honesdale narrowly edged their opponent 9-7 in the first frame, squeaked out an 8-7 lead in the second period and took a slim 3-point advantage (17-14) into the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, the game started to unwind for Wallenpaupack as the Lady Hornets outpaced them in the final frames 16-7 and 16-6; the home team reached down deep to post one in the victory lane.

The Lady Hornets’ Lydia Grossman had quite an outing, as she netted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Honesdale’s other leading scorers: Rowan Murray (10 points), Taylor Maxson (6), Sophia Goyette (5 points including a 3-pointer), and Tess Meagher (3-pointer).

Wallenpaupack: Devon Kiesendahl (7), Makenna Peet (7), Reanna Cleveland (6 points and a picture-perfect 4-for-4 at the foul line), while Grace Steffen posted a 3-pointer.

Stats from the free-throw line: Honesdale 15/18 (83 percent), Wallenpaupack 13/29 (45 percent).

The game ended with Honesdale in third place in the Lackawanna Girls’ Basketball Division II standings, while Wallenpaupack was in fourth place, trailing North Pocono and Western Wayne.

Both teams took to the floor as young squads: Honesdale has four seniors, two juniors, 10 sophomores and a freshman on the roster this year, while Wallenpaupack is comprised of four upperclassmen, three juniors, six sophomores and five freshmen.

Roy Gibbs is in his fourth decade as head coach of the Lady Buckhorns, who are captained this season by Skylar Navratil, Julia Moran, Kaiden Quigley and Emily Deet.

In the last two years, Wallenpaupack was crowned division champions, but with the graduation of several starters, now faces a rebuilding year as they move into the new decade.

In a previous chat, Honesdale High’s athletic director Diane Scarfalloto said of the girls’ new varsity basketball coach, “Ron Rowe has been a long-time staple of the basketball program. Ron started coaching the boys’ basketball program in the fall of 1979 and retired as the head coach in 2009. He continued as a volunteer assistant with the freshman boys’ program until 2019,” until he was tabbed head coach of the Lady Hornets.

“I like to coach, and I like working with the kids,” said Rowe. “They wanted to make a change, so they hired me.”

Rowe said his goals for the team are “to improve, that’s first. If we improve, we win championships… If we compete hard, then the wins will come. Once you start winning, it becomes contagious.”

Asked what scholar-athletes gain from high sports, he replied, “Life lessons, learning that you don’t quit at anything, and the big thing is teamwork… If you play well together, it works in life, your job, at home and in the world.”

This year, the Lady Hornets are led on the court by two 18-year old senior captains: Taylor Maxson and Sophia Goyette.

“I love Coach Rowe, he knows about strategy and figures it out so the games go well,” said Maxson, adding of her team. “The energy is here, even though the record doesn’t reflect it, I think we’ve grown as a team. It’s all because of Coach Rowe.”

Goyette’s take on the Lady Hornets coach and the season?

“He knows the game, in every game and every circumstance [he] knows the right thing to do. It’s awesome to see that,” she said, continuing her train of thought, “We’ve grown together so much as a team when we play together.”

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