The Wallenpaupack girls basketball program finally closed down its season with a celebratory banquet Sunday night at Ehrhardt's.
Players, coaches, volunteers, and families from all of the Lady Bucks' squads showed up to recount their teams' accomplishments and enjoy in some fellowship.
While the varsity squad claimed the district title and made a run into the state playoffs, theirs' was not the only winning season among the program.
From the 5th/6th grade program, to the junior high teams, to the JV cagers, success was certainly not in short supply.
Coach Stu Wirth noted how the 5/6th grade travel team touted a 7-0 record.
The youngest Lady Bucks claimed second place in the championships; placed third in the Christmas Tournament; and won the Stroudsburg Tournament for the second year in a row.
Rachael Tirjan was selected by her fellow players to receive the Lady Buckhorn Award for her accomplishments and team leadership.
Coach Wirth hopes the current batch of 5/6th grade players can have future successes in the same way as this year's varsity team did.
Scott Bonagura, coach of the 7th grade team, congratulated the high school teams for setting a standard for the younger players to strive for.
His young ladies went 9-4 this season and he noted that they were a "Defensive Juggernaut."
While he noted that they started off a bit flat, all he asked of his team was that they make improvements day-by-day. That's just what they did and they ended up with a winning season.
Alissa Alexander was chosen by her peers to receive the Lady Buckhorn Award for her grade level.
Page 2 of 3 - Eighth grade coach Amber Supko's squad went undefeated in regular play.
They took a third place award at the Stroudsburg Tournament and claimed first place in the Christmas Tournament.
Brianna Denniston was named Outstanding Defensive Player and Katie Irving was given the Coach's Award. The Lady Buckhorn Award for the 8th Grade was awarded to Olivia Scartelli.
Coach Cynthia Tillger took the opportunity to thank all of the players, parents, coaches, and supporters who helped the JV squad achieve a 14-7 record.
She noted the team worked hard all season, worked well together, and showed a lot of hustle even when times were tough. Irene Dispenza was given the Lady Buckhorn Award for the second year in a row.
"She does whatever it takes to win, whether that's sinking a clinch basket or giving water to a fellow player when it's her turn to sit on the bench," noted Tillger.
Varsity Head Coach Adam Holtzer admitted he was unsure about coaching the girls' team when he was first asked.
"This was the best decision of my life," he stated.
He noted how the girls rose to the occasion whenever necessary.
Paying particular attention to the seniors, he cited Paige Hiller as being a quiet leader who is a feared defender. He lauded Kaelyn Ragonese for being versatile and for playing wherever she was needed.
He related how Dani Palazzi kept the team laughing and smiling but also noted her shooting skills.
He explained how Lexi Roman's leadership and her style speak for itself. He noted her presence in the paint and at the boards will be missed.
Roman was named by her fellow teammates to receive the Lady Buckhorn Award for the varsity level for her contributions to the 21-6 record and her drive and leadership both on, and off the court.
Page 3 of 3 - Many Thanks
Closing the evening, Laura Ragonese thanked the Booster Club and told how it had evolved form a few parents making dinner for the team at their homes to a complex operation.
She thanked all the boosters for their continued support of the Lady Buck basketball program. She also noted that key boosters will be moving on and that others will be needed to help fill the void.
Given the caliber of players at their various levels, one doesn't need a crystal ball to see that Wallenpaupack Area girls basketball will continue to be successful.
Talent and hard work can be found at every level of the program and as one class moves on, another will certainly move in and pick up where their predecessors left off.
Laying a solid foundation for younger players and building upon the success of those that came before is a Buckhorn tradition and there seems to be no sign of anyone breaking from it at this point.