Although the so-called "arctic vortex" kept conditions frigid outside, action inside the Lakeside Elementary School gym was absolutely red-hot.
Ancient rivals Wallenpaupack Area and Honesdale hooked up for a wildly entertaining junior high hoops twinbill ... a double dip that ended in perhaps the most appropriate manner possible: with a split.
The young Hornets won the opener, an eighth grade battle that ended with a score of 37-26. Paupack retaliated in the nightcap, holding off a wild Honesdale rally to claim the seventh grade game, 31-30.
"This was a total team effort," Coach Brett Buselli said of his squad's razor-thin win. "That's one of the best things about this team. We don't have any superstars, so everybody has to play his part. The kids did a great job."
Weather permitting, Paupack is back on the hardwood Saturday.
The Bucks will travel to Waymart for a pair of Lackawanna League encounters with Western Wayne.
Opening tip for the seventh grade game is slated for 10 a.m., to be followed by the eighth grade contest at the RD Wilson School.
Paupack's youngest junior high squad is off to a solid start this season.
Under the direction of co-coaches Joe Anderson, Brett Buselli and Chris Strong, the young Bucks have now won three of their first four ballgames.
To date, the seventh graders own wins over Damascus, Honesdale and Pocono Mountain West.
Derrick Vosburg paced the Paupack attack in the win over the Hornets.
A southpaw forward who also excels on the baseball diamond, Vosburg tallied eight points in Wednesday afternoon's contest.
"Derrick is a really good shooter," Coach Anderson said. "He handles the ball well and has a real knack for scoring."
Page 2 of 3 - Alex Pillar and Jake Strong also received high marks from their mentor.
This dynamic hoops duo runs wild in the Buckhorns backcourt, holding down the starting guard spots. In the Honesdale game, Pillar tallied eight points and Strong added seven.
"What's nice about Alex and Jake is that they've been playing basketball for a long time now," said Coach Anderson. "They have a lot of experience and they're pretty polished players."
While Pillar and Strong handled the ball on the perimeter, Ty Wesenyak dominated in the paint.
A powerful presence at center, Wesenyak ruled the low post with an iron fist. Ty tallied just two points, but piled up a game-high 15 rebounds.
"Ty is a big, strong kid who works very hard," said Coach Anderson. "He's a really coachable kid who'll do anything to help the team."
Paupack held a three point lead late in the game, but Honesdale hit a late bucket that made the final margin 31-30.
The young Bucks fell behind quickly in the eighth grade game and simply couldn't dig themselves out of that hole en route to a 37-26 setback.
Tyrese Green ld the way for Paupack. The talented young cager rattled the rims for six points and also hauled down 12 boards.
Michael Burke contributed six points to the cause, while MacBrennan Peet chipped in with five.
Paupack's starting line-up consists of Jake Liddy, Carter Schmalzle, Michael Burke and Peet in the backcourt. Zach Kiesendahl and Tim Mitchell in the frontcourt.
"Timmy is our ringleader out there," Coach Buselli said. "He just works so hard at everything he does. Timmy has come a very long way as a basketball player in the last year."
Page 3 of 3 - Score by Quarters...
WAL (2-2) 5 10 7 9 - 31
HON (2-2) 5 11 2 12 - 30