There was a lot to like about the opening weekend performance of the NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U girls basketball team.
One of the things coach Kaitlyn Lewis liked most was the teamwork that went into the 5-0 record in the 17U Division Pool G of the Summer Tip Off at Spooky Nook Sports.
The team showed incredible offensive balance with nine of the 12 players averaging between 3.6 and 7.0 points per game during the event.
“I was so proud of them,” Lewis said. “I thought they played really well.
“They play together. They share the ball real well.”
The team’s balance showed in other statistical areas.
Four players grabbed between 22 and 27 rebounds, four provided between 9 and 13 assists and seven produced between 4 and 7 steals.
“It’s a really exciting group to watch,” Lewis said. “This is exactly what I expected.
“They’re great kids; great players. They’re super competitive.”
The team’s defensive pressure appeared to wear on opponents as NEPA Elite dominated second halves to break open close games and post four comfortable victories before a seven-point game in the finale.
The defensive effort caused long dry spells by opponents and helped spark game-changing runs.
NEPA Elite was behind early in the second half of its opener, only to win by 26 followed that up by turning a one-point game at the half into a 15-point victory.
In the first four games, NEPA Elite outscored its opponents, 35-11, 28-14, 30-2 and 21-6 after halftime.
In all, the team’s average advantage was 27.2-20.8 in the first half, but 27.8-10.8 in the second half.
Avery McNulty, a 5-foot-10 forward who is a rising junior at Scranton Prep, led the team in 3-pointers (8-for-15) and steals (7) along with being the co-scoring leader with 35 points.
Carena Colo, a senior guard/forward from North Pocono, shared the scoring lead.
Trinity Johnson, a 6-1 junior forward from Wyoming Valley West, shared the rebounding lead with Riverside senior Kayla Rose at 27 and the blocked shots lead with Dunmore senior Elisa Delfino with 3.
Dunmore senior Anna Talutto led in assists with 13.
Anna Scoblick, a junior forward from Abington Heights, made the most free throws, ranked second on the team in assists, was third in scoring and tied for third in rebounding.
A look back at the first five games.
NEPA Elite 66, Empire State Blue Flames-Chris 40
Jenna Beach and Colo, teammates at North Pocono, led a game-closing, 27-3 run that turned a close contest into a runaway.
Beach had 8 of her team-high 10 points and Colo 7 of her 9 during the run.
Colo had five points and joined Johnson in hitting consecutive 3-pointers early in a 14-point streak to break open a 39-37 game.
Beach had a strong all-around game, adding four rebounds and three assists.
Rose grabbed eight rebounds and made all three of her shots while scoring seven points.
NEPA Elite 48, New Jersey Panthers 33
Mia Blume, Emily Taylor, Scoblick and Delfino shared the scoring lead with eight points in the win.
The lead was just 23-22 early in the second half before Blume, a junior guard from Dunmore, scored on a drive and added a 3-pointer 25 second later.
Delfino and Scoblick led an 11-2 run over the final 4:37 to put the game away.
NEPA Elite 62, Hoopers New York-Drysdale 17
NEPA Elite ran off 34 straight points before allowing its only basket of the second half on a drive with six seconds left.
Before that basket, Hoopers had been scoreless for 16:57 and without a field goal for 20:12.
Colo led the way with 13 points. Blume added 11 on 4-for-4 shooting, including three 3-pointers.
Taylor, a senior from Riverside, went 2-for-3 on 3-pointers and Rachel McDonald, a senior from Abington Heights, also hit two as the team shot 8-for-17 from long distance.
Johnson had eight points, a team-high nine rebounds and shared the team steals lead of three with Talutto.
NEPA Elite 53, In the Zone-Turpening/Coyler 29
NEPA Elite scored 21 of its first 25 points from beyond the arc, starting 7-for-10.
McNulty connected twice while Colo and Taylor hit once each in a quick, 12-point streak to a 22-13 lead and NEPA Elite stayed in front the rest of the way.
Defense took care of the rest, limiting In the Zone to six second-half points and allowing for a 12-2 run that made it 42-25 by the midway point in the second half.
Blume led the defense with two steals and a blocked shot. Dunmore teammates Talutto and Alexis Chapman, as well as McNulty, also had two steals. Delfino and Johnson also blocked shots.
NEPA Elite 46, Utica Lady Knicks 39
McDonald and McNulty scored 11 points each and Scoblick turned in a strong all-around game to get NEPA Elite through its toughest game of the weekend.
Scoblick had eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
While the rest of the team was just 1-for-8 from long range, McNulty went 3-for-5 and McDonald was 2-for-5.
McNulty also had five rebounds and two steals.
McDonald scored the team’s first five points, erasing an early 5-0 deficit and starting a 16-4 run that also included three points each by McNulty and Scoblick. McDonald added a 3-pointer and a three-point play midway through the second half when NEPA Elite was building the lead as high as 10.
NOTE: All statistics in this report were compiled through a review of all but four unavailable minutes of game film from the weekend. They correct several errors and missing items from statistics compiled by others.