Last updated: February 19. 2013 1:09AM - 328 Views

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Determining Lackawanna League second-half and all-season basketball championships was a complicated process this week for all but two teams.
Dunmore and Montrose defended their girls‚?? basketball titles without the need for a playoff while the other four boys‚?? and girls‚?? divisions all needed second-half and/or all-season playoffs.
Montrose again followed the immense talents of West Chester University recruit Dallas Ely, who combines one of the league‚??s best long-distance shooting touches with being one of its fastest athletes, to the league‚??s only unbeaten record while going 14-0 in Division 3.
Dunmore continued the league‚??s longest streak of consecutive titles, winning Division 2 for the seventh straight time.
The teams will face each other Tuesday at 7 at Abington Heights to determine which takes the first which takes the second seed from the league in the District 2 Class AA tournament.
The Lady Bucks, who then go on to pursue their seventh straight District 2 championship, may not have been quite as dominant as some of their past teams, including last year‚??s state finalist. But they otherwise had most of the same traits that have made Dunmore both a favorite ‚?? and, more importantly, a champion ‚?? year after year.
Dunmore enters district play on a 12-game winning streak, including 10 straight wins by eight or more points following a challenging mid-season stretch.
During that time, the Lady Bucks went 4-2 and had their closest wins, by one and two points. They fell to Riverside for one of only two losses, both inflicted by the Lady Vikes in the past two seasons, in their last 90 Division 2 games over more than six seasons.
How do they do it?
The Lady Bucks succeed by doing everything right.
They defend, either by applying pressure or by shutting down teams when necessary. They rebound.
And, once they have the ball, they know how to protect it, share it, and shoot it.
Perhaps one of the best signs for Dunmore is that the team‚??s best five is not always easy to clearly define.
The Lady Bucks have their senior leaders, their impact freshmen, and the developing players in between who should be in position to lead as the program tries to extend its streak next season.
Alexa Gerchman is the definition of Dunmore girls‚?? basketball. She is not the Lackawanna League‚??s best or most dominant force. She, however, may very well be the league‚??s best example of a team player, who can either do a little bit of everything or raise her contributions in a specific area depending on what her team needs most.
Kayleigh Semion stepped in as a freshman to become a top scorer by showing the ability to both hit from 3-point range and take the ball to the basket. She led a strong group of contributors from her class and showed signs of continuing Dunmore‚??s series of go-to offensive players.
The past offensive leaders are still making a positive impression for the Dunmore program, but doing so on the college level.
Lauren Carra is a prominent part of Delaware‚??s remarkable emergence as the 12th-ranked team in the country in Division I; Ashley Murray‚??s freshman season at Marywood included a school-record eight 3-pointers in a game for a team that tied for first place in its division; and Tayler Pallotta is the second-leading rebounder on a University of Scranton that prepares to again enter the playoffs.
Between the senior leader and the emerging freshman, the current Lady Bucks have players like Molly Burke, their third-leading scorer who has increased her production and added to the significance of her role on the team.
Ben O‚??Brien has continued the success Ross Macciocco started with the Dunmore program. He has quickly established himself as a coach who can handle the challenges of the big games that are ahead. O‚??Brien‚??s calming influence and wise decisions assure that the Lady Bucks have quality coaching to go with the talent on the floor.
The combination has been too much for local opponents on the division and district level for years.
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