Wallenpaupack Area girls suffer heartbreaking overtime loss to Honesdale
To say there was a lot going on at this year's Wallenpaupack Area girls basketball Senior Night would be a drastic understatement.
Let’s look at the litany of items on the agenda at this past Monday’s event:
•It was Senior Night
•Archrival Honesdale was in town
•It was the 4th Annual Pretty in Pink game to raise funds for cancer research and awareness.
•It was also Biddy Basketball recognition night.
Needless to say, the gym was packed as theLady Bucks took to the floor against the Hornets.
Prior to tip-off, five local lasses from the Lake were recognized for their academic and athletic achievements as well as their contributions to the Wallenpaupack school and sports communities.
This year’s quintet of senior cagers included Megan Guerrieri, Hannah Smith, Rachael Tirjan, Rietta Steffen, and Alexis Patire.
Guerrieri, a multi-sport athlete has been a member of the track and field team and soccer team as well as four-year varsity basketball player who recently marked her 1,000th career point.
She has been named Athlete of the Week by both the Scranton Times and Channel 13 twice each and is a two-time member of the Lackawanna League First Team All-Stars.
Meg is a member of the National Honor Society, Volunteers in Paupack (VIP), SADD, serves as a photographer for the yearbook, is on the Athletic Council, and volunteers with Biddy Basketball.
Her future plans include majoring in biology at a four-year university.
Smith, in addition to being a four-year varsity basketball player, has also been with the cross country team for two seasons and has been a member of the league First Team All-Stars.
Hannah is a member of the National Honor Society, SADD, the Local History Club, VIP, Yearbook Club, Student Ambassadors, and has assisted with Biddy Basketball.
She plans to attend Widener University this fall to study nursing.
Tirjan is a four-year member of the varsity soccer, basketball, and softball teams. She has been a Lackawanna Soccer League All-Star for four seasons and was named League Player of the Year.
Rachael has been an All Region player for three years and was named to the All State team twice.
For softball, Rachael has made league all-stars for three seasons and was named divisional Player of the Year twice.
She has made the All-Region and the All State teams twice as well.
Tirjan is the student council secretary, a member of the National Honor Society and a National Merit Finalist, SADD, FBLA, the Athletic Council, Student Ambassadors, and her church youth group.
Rachael will major in biology in a pre-med track at Messiah College where she will also continue her soccer career.
Steffen is a four-year basketball player and active member of the Paupack music program. She has played with the marching band, pit band, orchestra, jazz band, choir, and wind ensemble.
She has been active in the Mini-Thon Committee, Foreign Language Club, and Student Ambassadors.
A National Honor Society member, and the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar, Rietta is also a member of her church youth group and a religious education instructor.
She has also been a member of the International Student Leadership Institute. She plans to major in English at a four-year university and further her education in law school.
Patire has been with the basketball program for four years and was a cheerleader for one season. She is a National Honor Society member and has been active in SADD and the Yearbook Club.
Alexis is a member of her church youth group and has been a volunteer coach for Little League.
She plans to attend James Madison University to become a physician’s assistant.
As tradition holds, upon the first bucket scored during the game, the crowd unleashed a hail of pink and white ribbons to honor the evening.
That basket, however, came by the way of Honesdale’s Alexa Jones, who swished a trey moments after the tipoff.
Guerrieri followed suit after the streamers were cleaned up but the Hornets went on a tear by scoring five unanswered field goals before the Lady Bucks could get things going.
After one quarter, the home squad trailed 18-13.
While the second period lacked the drama of the opening stanza, the Hornets continued to dazzle.
However, the home team was now moving in the right direction. They were only outshot 11-9, but still trailed 29-22 at the half.
Largely through the efforts of Guerrieri and Smith, but with some added points by plebe Devon Kiesendahl, the Paupack lasses pulled ahead in the third period. Guerrieri made a trey in the final moments of the quarter, was fouled, and put the Bucks up 39-38 by nailing the plus-one shot.
Jones, quiet for much of the night, exploded for the Maple City ladies in the fourth. Tirjan, Guerrieri and Smith were solid at the stripe while Steffen added a bucket from the paint to counter the Hornets resurgence.
Down by three with seconds left, Jones fired from downtown, hit, and tied it 51-All, sending the game to OT.
As Taylor Maxon carried the Hornets in the first, and Jones did in the fourth, Rowan Murray stepped up in the overtime session. Smith’s two deuces gave her the game high of 24, but in the closing seconds, tied at 60, Sophia Goyette struck for two to secure the win for Honesdale.
Over & Out
“It went right down to the end,” said Head Coach Roy Gibbs. “I can’t say enough about our seniors. They are a great bunch of girls and they played their hearts out.”
Having seen many senior nights and many close losses during his career, the wizened skipper took the defeat in stride proud of his players and the effort they put forth.
For the Lady Bucks, the defeat was an emotional one. However, it’s not their final home stand. On the card for Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Delaware Valley pays a visit.
The Paupack gals then close the regular season at Western Wayne on Feb.11 at 7:15 p.m.