Thursday’s Honesdale at Scranton Prep game had a lot of things to like about it, but mostly it was just the sheer number of great athletes on the court. Some nights you look out there and think, “a lot of kids plodding up and down the court.” Then there are games like this, where there are greyhounds and thoroughbreds.
JASON FARMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Scranton Prep’s Jess Genco drives past Honesdale’s Morgan Birmelin for a three-point play in Prep’s 55-46 win on Thursday.
By now, I think Clare Philbin’s night has been covered in detail, 14 boards, five steals, four assists, six points, as Prep won, 55-46, in the battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2. But the games turned in by top-ranked Prep’s Jess Genco, and Honesdale’s Tasha Hessling and Morgan Birmelin were pretty darned good, too.
While Genco’s shooting touch was off, she still managed 17 points and was spot-on with her passing, dishing 10 assists. A couple of those were long TD passes to Julia Sirtotnak, but my fave of the night was the nifty no-look dish to Madison Ashby for a layup.
“I’m not necessarily looking to make a long pass,” Genco said. “If I can see it developing, I like to make that pass.”
All Genco does is make everyone around her better.
And all Hessling does is hit shots, said one college coach in attendance. Hessling knocked down J after J to keep Honesdale in it, and finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
“Tasha is a hard worker,” Honesdale coach Pilar Beam said. “Sometimes people take her for granted because she is not the usual center, she’s not the usual forward. She’s 5-foot-8, 5-9, in sneakers. But she battles very well with the 6-footers and the 6-foot-3s. She has a lot of tools that she can use and she can challenge any player.
“Her and Morgan, they did a good job.”
Birmelin is 4 for 5 from 3-point range in the last two Honesdale games I covered, and I am inmpressed by her ability to get to the tin and draw fouls. She scored 15 in the loss to Prep.
“Again, you go back to the drawing board, you learn from your losses and you move forward,” Beam said.
The good and the bad
With just four games left in the regular season, there were some things, good and bad, that Scranton Prep coach Ross Macciocco liked about Thursday’s 55-46 win over Honesdale, in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in The Times-Tribune top-10 poll.
First, the good. Sophomore Sirotnak hit a couple big jumpers and scored 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting in the win. “Julia was big tonight because she’s the only one in the starting five who hasn’t come along (offensively),” Macciocco said. “She’s been struggling, trying to find herself. Hopefully, this is a game where she found herself.” On the other side of the coin, Macciocco wasn’t happy with the transition defense playd by Prep. That, it turns out, it also good.
“The defensive end of the floor, we still have some bad habits, reaching their hands in,” Macciocco said. “I thought it was a great game. Honesdale’s a very good team. I thought my kids played exceptionally well in spots. And there were spots where we forgot what we were doing, getting back in transition defense, but that’s good. There are still things we can improve on when we come back to practice on Saturday.”
Wallenpaupack girls head basketball coach Kenny Hemmler and the rest of the Lady Buckhorns will be holding their collective breath as leading scorer Bridgette Mann heads to Dr. Jack Henzes’ office today for an x-ray of her left foot. Mann left Thursday night’s loss against visiting Abington Heights in the second quarter and didn’t return. The foot is the same one she fractured over the summer, although Mann tweeted that she didn’t think the foot was broken this time. Even if she didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, expect Mann to be back quickly: “already told my coach they could cut my foot off and I’ll still be playing monday night,” Mann tweeted. Riverside’s Lizzie Spindler also was out of the lineup for Thursday night’s televised game between the Lady Vikes and Holy Cross. Spindler is listed as day-to-day with a sprained ankle, suffered four minutes into Tuesday’s win over Carbondale. Her status for tonight’s game against Mid Valley is doubtful, head coach Jack Mekilo said.
That’s when Rebecca Carmody of Western Wayne will go for her 1,000th point. the Lady Wildcats host North Pocono in festivities that tip off with the junior varsity game starting at 4 p.m. at Varden Garden. Carmody needs 6 points for 1,000. The game was postponed Thursday because of the threat of snow.