skip to Main Content

Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge Coverage

SUNDAY, 12:50 PM

JB Hoops Valvano finished second, JB Hoops Coleman was fourth and JB Hoops Carra placed sixth in separate 32-team divisions in the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim.

After combining to go 6-0 Friday and 4-2 Saturday, the three JB Hoops girls teams went 0-3 Sunday with two of the losses coming by a total of three points.

The Western New York Lady Lakers 10 Parizek team edged JB Hoops Valvano, 44-42, in the Bronze Division championship game.

The Lady Lakers reached the final by beating four opponents by an average of 23.5 points.

Breakers Ebersole downed JB Hoops Coleman, 50-49, in the Gold Division third-place game.

PA Defenders Fox defeated JB Hoops Carra, 56-49, in the last round of the Diamond Division.

Rachael Rose led JB Hoops Carra with 13 points. Gianna Delfino added eight.

The Defenders held JB Hoops Carra to 17 points in the first half.

JB Hoops Carra got its offense going in the second half when Rachael Rose scored seven points while Gracie Guarino, Kathleen Rose and Victoria Toomey added five each.

Return to this page later in the day for more details on the three JB Hoops girls teams at the event in Lancaster County.


MANHEIM – JB Hoops Valvano turned Sunday into a special opportunity with its play Friday and Saturday at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge.

The team won two games each Friday and Saturday to move through four rounds of the bracket and earn a title shot in the 32-team Bronze Division.

“I don’t think a lot of JB Hoops teams have gotten this far in a Blue Chip tournament,” coach Corey Valvano said, “so here’s an opportunity for them to put their names and put this program on the map maybe a little bit more than it already is.”

Valvano points to one simple statistic in explaining how the team arrived at this point.

“Two weekends ago, we gave up 55 to 60 points a game,” Valvano said. “Down here, we’ve been giving up about 30, so that’s been a big plus for us.”

JB Hoops Valvano has held each of its four opponents to 37 points or fewer, giving up 32.3 per game for the tournament.

In Saturday’s second game, the division semifinal, JB Hoops Valvano held Connecticut Storm Gomez to 12 first-half points in a 44-37 win.

“We’ve done a real nice job of forcing contested jump shots,” Valvano said. “We’ve played a lot of bigger teams, so we’ve done a good job of keeping balls out of the paint, contesting jump shots, then limiting them to one shot.”

JB Hoops Valvano outscored Connecticut, 13-7, in the first eight minutes of the second half to reach the midway point with a 28-19 lead.

The 18 points allowed from there were largely a result of the Storm extending the game through constant fouling.

After going just 3-for-12 at the line in the first half, JB Hoops Valvano was 16-for-26 in the second half.

Alese Karpinski was 4-for-4 and Carena Colo was 5-for-6 in the second half. Rachel McDonald was 3-for-4 on a pair of trips to the line in the final minute, both times after Connecticut had closed to within seven.

“We actually didn’t shoot free throws too well in the first half, so a point of emphasis in the second half was keep attacking, get to the line and knock them down,” Valvano said.  “Rachel and Carena came down the stretch and made some huge free throws.”

When the Storm was trying to make a run late in the game, Karpinski twice came up with timely offensive rebounds and another time stole the ball right back when the Storm got to one.

“Alese and Clair Marion have done a great job over the course of the weekend of going against taller girls and keep fighting and getting rebounds and loose balls and turning them into baskets,” Valvano said.

In the semifinal win, Colo scored 11 of her team-high 12 points in the second half. She hit both ends of a one-and-one with 2:03 left for the game’s biggest lead at 38-26. The other two free throws had created the biggest lead to that point, 28-19, with 8:27 remaining.

Skylar Bianchi added 10 points and some tough inside play.

“She’s been playing really well,” Valvano said. “She’s been finishing. She’s been squaring up, then she’s been handling the aggressiveness she’s been getting very well.

“It’s easy in these kind of tournaments to get pushed around, then fight back with them, but she’s done a real good job of staying even keel.”

JB Hoops Valvano plays at 10:10 a.m. against Western New York Lady Lakers 10 Parizek for the title of the division that is made up primarily of ninth-grade and strong eighth-grade teams.

The Lady Lakers have averaged 59.8 per game in the tournament, scoring at least 52 in every game and winning each of the four by at least 16 points.

Return to this page for more updates from the conclusion of the tournament.



MANHEIM – There was disappointment in the way Saturday started for the JB Hoops Carra team.

The team made sure there would be no repeat performance in its second outing Saturday.

JB Hoops Carra scored the game’s first 14 points and did not allow a field goal for 8:27 to begin the game while running over Drill for Skill Brown from Pittsburgh, 58-24, in a Diamond Division game at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at Spooky Nook Sports.

“We knew we needed to come out strong and play our own game,” said Lisa Tallo, a junior guard from Dunmore who shared team scoring honors with 12 points in the win. “The earlier game today, we were not playing our best game. We were kind of playing individually.

“We knew we needed to come out and play like a team, like we always do.”

JB Hoops Carra allowed just three field goals in each half.

“We thrive on our defense,” Tallo said.

JB Hoops Carra is 3-1 in the tournament and will finish either fifth or sixth in the 32-team Diamond Division, depending on the result of Sunday’s 9 a.m. game against PA Defenders Fox.

In the three wins, the team is giving up an average of 42.3 points. The loss came 73-44 against Under Armour Minnesota Stars Amundson, which took control late in the half, then scored 38 points in the second half.

“We have a lot of very talented players,” coach Lauren Carra said. “When we play as a team, we’re very difficult to stop.

“This morning, we came out a little flat, didn’t have a lot of energy, then the second game, we showed a lot of growth, a lot of maturity and we were able to bounce back.”

JB Hoops Carra got out and running early in its fourth game of the three-day tournament and never slowed down.

“In the first game, the defensive intensity really wasn’t there,” Carra said. “In the second game, it was there.

“We were all over the ball, forcing turnovers and we just fed off of that.”

Rachael Rose, a Scranton Prep freshman who has either led or shared the team scoring lead in three of four games during the tournament, had half of her 12 points in the 14-0 start. Four other players each contributed a basket to the opening run.

“The future for Rachael Rose is very bright,” Carra said. “When she plays with confidence and she’s aggressive, she makes our team go.”

Seven players figured into the first 18 points. Hannah Smith, a guard from Wallenpaupack, got into the lane to score twice in a row in the middle of a 14-2 run to a 30-7 lead with 3:08 left in the first half.

DFS Brown got no closer than 20 the rest of the way.

Mackenzie Steele from Susquehanna hit a 15-footer with 12 seconds left for a 36-14 halftime lead. Leah Hodick from Pittston Area then had three blocked shots and a steal in the first four minutes of the second half to make sure DFS Brown never got its offense going in a 10-point half.

“Unfortunately, she got into foul trouble, which is why we didn’t see her much after that,” Carra said. “Leah’s a very good player. She’s aggressive inside.

“She’s hard to stop once she gets rolling.”

JB Hoops Carra appears to be rolling again after one game the team would rather forget.

“Overall, we’re playing great,” Tallo said.  It was just that one game, but we came back stronger.

“We’re just going to keep going.”

NOTE: Return to this page throughout the weekend for more on how the three JB Hoops girls teams are doing in the tournament in Lancaster County.



MANHEIM – Rachael Rose and Lisa Tallo scored 12 points each and JB Hoops Carra held Drill for Skill Brown from Pittsburgh to three field goals in each half of a 58-24 rout Saturday afternoon at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at Spooky Nook Sports.

JB Hoops Carra bounced back from its first loss of the tournament earlier in the day. It improved to 3-1 and will play for fifth and sixth place in the Diamond Division Sunday at 9 a.m. against PA Defenders Fox.

Rose is a freshman from Scranton Prep, playing on a team otherwise made up of sophomores and juniors. Tallo is a junior from Dunmore. Both led their high school teams to both division and district titles in the 2017-18 season.

Return to this page for more details on this game, and the entire tournament, throughout the weekend.



MANHEIM – JB Hoops Coleman suffered through a costly scoring drought at the end of the first half Saturday afternoon leading the team’s first loss in four games at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex.

JB Hoops Coleman will play for third place in the Gold Division Sunday at 11:20 against Breakers Ebersole after losing to Minnesota Stars Hersch, 53-32, in Saturday’s second game.

The team made it through Friday’s opening day with a pair of victories, 48-40 over Philly Heat Morano and 52-26 over Queens Express Kurs.

Lauren Casey, a freshman from Nanticoke, led the way with 16 points in the win over Queens Express.

Kylie Lavelle, an eighth-grader from Riverside, had 19 points in Saturday’s first game when JB Hoops Coleman fought past Syracuse Nets Wilkinson, 54-52, in overtime.

JB Hoops Coleman played the Minnesota Stars on even terms for nearly 11 minutes to begin the game and was only outscored 19-15 in the second half, but the final five minutes of the first half decided the game.

Dunmore’s Moriah Murray put JB Hoops Coleman ahead for the last time with a 17-footer from the left baseline for a 14-13 advantage with 6:40 left in the half.

The teams were still tied, 16-16, before the Stars ran off 14 straight points to start a stretch in which they closed the half with an 18-1 run to a 34-17 advantage.

Minnesota hit three 3-pointers, grabbed eight offensive rebounds and forced nine turnovers in the first half while taking control of the game.

Lavelle led JB Hoops Coleman with 15 points.

Check back for more updates throughout the weekend.



MANHEIM – Using stingy defense and strong rebounding against taller opponents, JB Hoops Valvano has advanced to Sunday’s championship game of the Bronze Division for 8th– and 9th-grade teams at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster County.

With JB Hoops Carra well in front in the second half of the last game of the day for JB Hoops teams, the program is on the verge of ending Saturday, the second day of the three-day event, with a combined 10-2 record.

JB Hoops teams have lost only to opponents from the Under Armour Minnesota Stars program, which draws players from the entire state.

With one game remaining Sunday, JB Hoops Valvano will be finishing first or second in the Bronze, JB Hoops Coleman will place third or fourth in the Gold and JB Hoops Carra will take fifth or sixth in the Diamond, each out of 32 teams in their divisions.

Carena Colo scored 11 of her 12 points in the second half and Skylar Bianchi added 10 points when JB Hoops Valvano defeated Connecticut Storm Gomez, 44-37, in Saturday’s semifinals to improve to 4-0 in the tournament.

After going 3-for-12 from the line in the first half while taking a 15-12 lead, JB Hoops Valvano protected the lead against pressure by going 16-for-26 on second-half foul shots. Colo was 5-for-6 in the half.

Minnesota Stars Hersch topped JB Hoops Coleman, 53-32, in the Gold Division semifinals. Minnesota Stars Amundson overcame 15 points by Rachael Rose to beat JB Hoops Carra, 73-44, in the Diamond Division quarterfinals.

Both Minnesota teams took charge late in the first half.

Stars Hersch used an 18-1 run to close the half and break away from the game’s final tie.

Stars Amundson scored 16 straight points, starting with a 3-pointer that erased the last JB Hoops Carra lead at 17-15.

JB Hoops Carra bounced back in its second game Saturday, scoring the first 14 points on the way to a 36-14 halftime lead over DFS from Pittsburgh.

With 4:15 left, JB Hoops Carra held a 54-24 lead.

Return to this page for more updates.



MANHEIM – JB Hoops Valvano and JB Hoops Coleman won games Saturday morning to improve to 3-0 at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge and reach the final four of their 32-team divisions.

JB Hoops Valvano handled Lone Wolf 9 Johnson, 47-32, and advanced into the Bronze Division semifinal against Connecticut Storm Gomez, scheduled for 12:45 p.m. at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex.

At the same time, JB Hoops Coleman will be taking on Under Armour Minnesota Stars Hersch.

JB Hoops Coleman made it to the Gold Division semifinals with a 54-52 overtime victory over Syracuse Nets Wilkinson.

JB Hoops Carra was in action in a Diamond Division quarterfinal, trailing Under Armour Minnesota Stars Amundson, 54-32, midway through the second quarter.

Check back for more updates and further details throughout the day.



Freelance sports writer and frequent JB Hoops Blog contributor Tom Robinson will be at Spooky Nook today providing detailed reports on the progress of the three girls teams who begin the day with perfect record at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge.

FRIDAY, 10:45 PM

The first day of play in the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Lancaster County was a perfect one for JB Hoops teams.

The three JB Hoops entries in the weekend girls event went a combined 6-0, each winning two games.

JB Hoops Carra, competing in the Diamond Division, got past the Under Armour Wisconsin Playmakers in its second game, 63-55.

Gianna Delfino from Dunmore led the team with 17 points and high school teammate Victoria Toomey added 10.

Mackenzie Steele from Susquehanna and Leah Hodick from Pittston Area added eight each as frontcourt play led the team to its second win.

JB Hoops Carra plays Saturday at 11:30 against Under Armour Minnesota Stars Amundson.

After starting action in the Gold Division with an eight-point win, JB Hoops Coleman rolled in its second game, doubling up Queens Express Kurs, 52-26.

JB Hoops Coleman plays at 10:15 Saturday morning against Syracuse Nets Wilkinson.

In the Bronze Division, JB Hoops Valvano is back in action Saturday at 9 a.m. against Lone Wolf 9 Johnson.


JB Hoops teams are off to a combined 4-0 start after JB Hoops Coleman opened its tournament Friday with a 48-40 victory over Philadelphia Heat Morano in the Gold Division at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Lancaster County.

JB Hoops Coleman has a game scheduled for 8:15 Friday against Queens Express Kurs.


Rachael Rose scored 14 points Friday afternoon to get JB Hoops Carra off to a fast start in the Diamond Bracket with a 63-49 victory over the Lady Runnin Rebels McDonough at the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Lancaster County.

The freshman from Scranton Prep got help from four teammates who scored at least eight points.

Lisa Tallo and Victoria Toomey each had nine points while Gianna Delfino and Mackenzie Steele had eight each. Tallo, Toomey and Delfino play at Dunmore while Steele plays at Susquehanna.

JB Hoops Carra moved into Friday’s 7 p.m. game against UA WI Playmakers.

Three JB Hoops teams are at Spooky Nook and they are off to a combined 3-0 start.

JB Hoops Valvano won its first two games and JB Hoops Coleman is playing its first game.

Competing in the Bronze Division, JB Hoops Valvano defeated GV Pride Filbert, 46-34, and Dynamic Disciples Brown, 56-26. The team continues Saturday at 9 a.m. against Lone Wolf 9 Johnson.

JB Hoops Coleman is in the Gold Division and, like the other two teams, will place twice Friday.

The tournament continues Saturday and Sunday.


Three JB Hoops girls teams are participating in the Blue Chip Pre-Season Challenge Friday through Sunday at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Lancaster County.

The JB Hoops Blog will have updates from the tournament action, including live reports from onsite at Spooky Nook throughout the day Saturday.

The JB Hoops Carra, Coleman and Valvano teams are in action in different divisions.

JB Hoops Valvano gets underway first with two Friday afternoon games. JB Hoops Carra and JB Hoops Coleman join in later and also have their first two games before Friday is over.

Check back for updates on how the teams do.

Back To Top
×Close search

Get the latest news from Backcourt Hoops! Enter your email below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.