GIRLS GAME DAY: Sunday, 7/26
POSTED: 11:57 p.m.
Northeastern Pennsylvania’s top girls basketball players continued to show they can perform on the state and national stage.
Facing the widely regarded top player in the nation in their age group and what appeared to be one of the top teams, the NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls team roared back from a pair of seven-point, second-half deficits to hand GTS Fusion its only loss of the Summer Tip Off, 59-52.
Both teams finished 4-1 in the 11th Grade Division Pool A while facing off with others who were considered to be the top teams in the event at Spooky Nook Sports.
GTS Fusion, an Under Armour-sponsored team from Falls Church, Va., draws top talent from Virginia, Maryland the District of Columbia. It had pounded its first four opponents by a total of 106 points.
NEPA Elite, in its competitive debut weekend as a new AAU club out of Riverfront Sports in Scranton, remained within striking distance, then used different approaches to put together a pair of 12-2, second-half runs to produce the victory.
“The girls responded really well to the speed and the pressure from GTS Fusion,” program founder and team head coach Kevin Clark said. “It took us a little while early on to adapt to it. They came out of the gates pretty tough and physical.
“There’s a reason all those girls are getting recruited by the colleges they are, but we handled the ball well. We stuck to our Xs and Os, which I think really helped.”
That execution allowed NEPA Elite to show off its 3-point shooting weapons with Rachael Rose, Ciera Toomey and Moriah Murray each connecting in the first run to a 36-33 lead.
NEPA Elite trailed for just 1:10 the rest of the way, ending that with a 12-2 run that emphasized the transition game.
Clair Marion, who had hit one of two free throws to start the game-deciding run, turned a steal into a breakaway for the basket that put NEPA Elite ahead to stay, 43-42, with 6:47 left.
Rose hit a 3-pointer, assisted the next two baskets, then scored for a 52-44 lead with 4:10 left.
Lauren Casey took advantage of the first Rose assist for a layup. Rose and Cecelia Collins ran the floor together after a Rose defensive rebound, leading to a Collins basket.
Collins returned the favor with a long in-bounds pass over the top of pressure to spring Rose for her basket.
NEPA Elite committed just two turnovers in the second half and eight for the game against an imposing defensive team.
Rose dealt with much of that pressure on the way to 19 points and 4 assists.
“Rachael did a great job at the point,” Clark said.
Collins contributed scoring, passing, rebounding and defense with 13 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
Toomey had 11 points and led the team with 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
Murray added eight points and four rebounds.
Clark was pleased with his team’s performance on the boards, coming within two rebounds of matching a team that featured four 6-footers, including a pair of 6-3 players.
Kiyomi McMiller, whose basketball exploits were first featured in USA Today when she was in third grade, led GTS Fusion with 16 points. Lee Volker, a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year with multiple National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I offers, added 15 points and 4 rebounds.
Azzi Fudd, a two-time USA Junior National team member who is ranked by ESPN as the top high school player in the country, had just four points. She was 2-for-4 from the floor, missing her two 3-point attempts. She also had a rebound, an assist and a steal.
Rose and Collins are also high school teammates who led Scranton Prep to an unbeaten season and a berth in the state quarterfinals where the tournament was stopped because of the coronavirus. Dunmore teammates Murray and Toomey also had their once-beaten teams in the state quarterfinals.
Marion is from Abington Heights and Casey is from Nanticoke.
POSTED: 10:53 p.m.
Avery McNulty and Rachel McDonald scored 11 points each and the NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U girls got through their closest game of the weekend to finish unbeaten in the season-opening Summer Tip Off at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim Township, Lancaster County with a 46-39 victory over the Utica Lady Knicks.
McNulty, a rising junior at Scranton Prep, went 3-for-5 on 3-pointers and also contributed five rebounds and two steals.
McDonald, who is heading into her senior season at Abington Heights, added two of the team’s six 3-pointers.
Anna Scoblick, a junior who is a high school teammate of McDonald’s, chipped in with eight points, a team-high seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
After winning its first four games by a total of 110 points, NEPA Elite started slowly in its only game of the final day of the three-day event.
The turnovers off pressure that led to so many easy baskets Friday and Saturday were not available to spark the offense.
“We struggled a little bit to push the ball,” coach Kaitlyn Lewis said. “ … We kind of slowed it down and told our team to play a little slower.”
NEPA Elite went three minutes without scoring, falling behind, 5-0.
McDonald and Scoblick got the offense started. McDonald followed up her own 3-pointer with a steal and foul-line jumper for 5-5 tie.
Scoblick followed with another basket to complete the seven-point streak, then added a free throw after Utica tied the game for the last time, 7-7.
McNulty hit a 3-pointer to complete a 16-4 run to a seven-point lead.
Those 3-pointers by McDonald and McNulty as well as 3-pointers by Dunmore’s Mia Blume and McNulty in the early moments of the second half came after NEPA Elite got offensive rebounds and made the most of the second chances.
McDonald contributed a 3-pointer and a three-point play as NEPA Elite opened the lead to double figures by dominating the middle portion of the second half.
“At about the 12-minute mark, we started to pick it up a little more,” Lewis said. “We were a little sluggish before that.”
Lewis said the team did a better job in its half-court offense reading its options coming off of ball screens.
Readers should note that, following video review of the game, statistics have been adjusted from what was originally reported by game management.
POSTED: 8:07 p.m.
Nadia Evanosky was the leading scorer for the NEPA Elite 16U girls for the third straight game when she had 10 points in today’s 48-38 loss to Fencor Peeps from Fort Washington, Pa.
Jennifer Beattie led Fencor with 15 points, 5 steals and 4 assists.
Julia Glowacki added eight points for NEPA Elite while Brooke Arnold made both of her 3-point attempts to add six.
Anna Williams led the team with seven rebounds, Cadie Lewis with three assists and Kallie Booth with two steals.
All statistics in this latest update were compiled by BeTheBeast.com.
POSTED: 7:59 p.m.
Rachel McDonald was credited by BeTheBeast.com with a game-high 15 points when NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U completed an unbeaten run through the five-game Summer Tip Off with a win this morning.
Avery McNulty made three 3-pointers in win.
MORE TO COME: Additional details from the game still to come.
POSTED: 4:51 p.m.
Four NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls players put up impressive stat lines while the team was handing GTS Fusion its only loss of the Summer Tip Off, 59-52, in today’s finale at Spooky Nook.
The stat leaders were:
Rachael Rose 19 points, 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, 6-for-6 from line, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Cecelia Collins 13 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals
Ciera Toomey 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocked shots
Moriah Murray 8 points, 4 rebounds
MORE TO COME: Return to this page for a more-detailed report on the NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls victory over GTS Fusion.
POSTED: 4:44 p.m.
In the last game of the opening weekend, NEPA Elite 16U girls lost to Fencor Peeps from Fort Washington, Pa., 48-38, in the Summer Tip Off at Spooky Nook Sports.
For the first weekend of competition in the history of the new club out of Riverfront Sports in Scranton, the seven teams went a combined 19-8. The four girls teams combined for a 12-3 record.
“It was a good weekend,” club founder Kevin Clark said.
MORE TO COME: The games are over, but the reporting will continue with more details on today’s action and wrapping up the weekend as a whole.
POSTED: 1:16 p.m.
GTS Fusion, the Under Armour-sponsored AAU power from Falls Church, Va., had been running over opponents in the top division of the Summer Tip Off at Spooky Nook in Manheim Township.
That is, until the Fusion ran into the NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls early Sunday afternoon.
NEPA Elite wrapped up the new club’s first competition with a 4-1 record in 11th Grade Division Pool A games after a 59-52 victory.
GTS, which had beaten four teams by a combined 106 points, also finishes 4-1.
The club’s three girls teams at the event are a combined 12-2 with one game to go.
The NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U girls already finished 5-0 in 11th Grade Pool G.
The NEPA Elite 16U girls are 3-1 with one game remaining.
POSTED: 11:05 a.m.
The NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U girls team completed a perfect opening weekend, getting through its closest game this morning to defeat the Utica Lady Knicks, 46-39, and finish 5-0 in the Summer Tip Off at Spooky Nook Sports.
The team outscored its 11th Grade Division Pool G opponents by an average of 55-31.6 in the three-day event.
POSTED: 8:08 a.m.
The NEPA Elite girls teams will wrap up their first weekend of action by each playing one game today in the Summer Tip Off at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim Township, Lancaster County.
The Carra/Lewis 17U team is up first, trying to finish unbeaten. It is 4-0 after winning two games each Friday and Saturday. The Clark 17U team and 16U team are both 3-1.
Return to this page throughout the day for coverage of the games.
Check out the Recent Posts listing on the right for links to coverage of all the NEPA Elite teams in their opening weekend of action.
Today’s schedule for NEPA Elite teams at Spooky Nook is below:
|9:20 a.m.||Carra/Lewis||11th Grade/Pool G||Utica Lady Knicks||Utica, NY|
|Noon||Clark||11th Grade/Pool A||GTS Fusion||Falls Church, VA|
|2:40 p.m.||Birmelin||10th Grade/Pool E||Fencor Peeps||Fort Washington, PA|