The NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U girls team got stronger as the weekend progressed.
After suffering its first loss in its Friday opener at the event, the Carra/Lewis team bounced back with three straight wins in the Hoop Group’s Summer Jam Fest at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim Township. NEPA Elite took control earlier in the second of its two Saturday victories, then won with ease in its only Sunday game.
The 3-1 weekend record leaves the team from Riverside Sports in Scranton with an 8-1 record after its first two events.
“We just weren’t ready to play that first game,” coach Kaitlyn Lewis said. “After that, I was just super proud of the way the girls responded.
“They played so hard the rest of the games. They played for each other. They were up on the bench. They were playing as a team; extra passes here, extra passes there.”
Trinity Johnson, a 6-foot-1 rising junior forward from Wyoming Valley West, led the team in points (30), rebounds (22) and field goals (13) in the four weekend games.
Avery McNulty, a 5-10 junior forward from Scranton Prep, hit a team-high 10 free throws while finishing second in scoring.
Anna Scoblick led in assists, Anna Talutto led in steals and Mia Blume led in 3-pointers made. Scoblick is a junior from Abington Heights while Talutto is a Dunmore senior and Blume a Dunmore junior.
While Johnson was scoring 30 points, 7 of the team’s other 11 players contributed at least 15 points.
A look back at the weekend’s four games:
Elmira Fusion 43, NEPA Elite 41
NEPA Elite got off to a slow start, going 3:25 before scoring and 5:10 before Blume’s 3-pointer for the team’s first field goal, falling behind 5-0 and 8-2 in the process.
The team played from behind most of the rest of the way. Of the game’s 30 minutes, NEPA Elite led for just 39 seconds and the teams were tied for only 1:26 after the 2:14 that the game was scoreless at the beginning.
Elmira scored the last five points of the first half for a 25-19 lead at intermission.
Talutto had four steals, four points and an assist in the first 2:40 of the second half. She scored four straight points to create the first tie at 28-28.
Lewis credited the defensive energy from Talutto and Alexis Chapman, another Dunmore senior, with helping give the team the spark it needed.
The Fusion used a 3-pointer and a three-point play to score eight straight points for the game’s biggest lead, 36-28.
Kayla Rose, a Riverside senior, put together a four-point play to start NEPA Elite’s own eight-point streak for a 36-36 tie. Rose missed a free throw for a potential three-point play, but tracked down the loose rebound and made a move for a reverse layup.
Johnson made a steal and quickly scored off a give-and-go with Scoblick to tie the game for the last time, 40-40, with 1:02 left.
Talutto and Johnson teamed on a trap at midcourt to force a turnover.
Scoblick hit one of two free throws with 49 seconds left for the only lead, 41-40.
Kelly Moravec’s 3-pointer from 24 feet out with 11 seconds left was the game-winner.
NEPA Elite did not get off a shot before the final buzzer.
McNulty and Carena Colo, a senior from North Pocono, led the team in scoring with seven points in the loss.
Talutto, who had six steals and two assists, and Rose added six points each.
Johnson led the team with eight rebounds and three blocked shots along with making three steals.
Scoblick had three assists.
NEPA Elite 63, New Jersey Belles-Fagan 58
Rachel McDonald scored a game-high 18 points and started NEPA Elite’s comeback from an 11-point, first-half deficit to lead the team to a victory in the first of two Saturday games.
NEPA Elite was coming off its first loss when it fell behind 22-11 in the first seven minutes.
The Belles broke a 9-9 tie, scoring the game’s next nine points on three straight 3-pointers on the way to finishing the game with 10 shots made from behind the arc.
After the lead reached 11, McDonald scored 6 straight points. She connected from just inside the arc, then made a four-point play by hitting a 3-pointer from the left wing while being knocked down and adding the subsequent foul shot.
NEPA Elite finished the half with 13 straight points.
McNulty hit two free throws with 47 seconds left for the team’s first lead, 28-27, then scored again on a steal and breakaway for a 30-27 lead at the half.
Rose also scored four points and McDonald hit a 3-pointer in the streak.
McDonald, a senior from Abington Heights, finished 6-for-10 from the floor, 3-for-7 on 3-pointers and 3-for-3 from the line.
McNulty added nine points and Blume hit two 3-pointers while scoring eight.
Colo, who led the team with six rebounds, and fellow North Pocono senior Jenna Beach, scored six points each.
Rose led the team with four assists and joined Talutto in making two steals.
NEPA Elite 38, JKMBA 16U 31
With her teammates struggling offensively, Johnson supplied nearly half the offense in the team’s second victory of the day.
Scoblick made three steals and Colo two while leading a defense that limited JKMBA to 14.3 percent shooting from 3-point range and 26.3 percent overall.
Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. She did much of her damage early to put NEPA Elite in control throughout.
While the rest of the team was just 4-for-36 from the floor, Johnson went 8-for-10. She had 13 points in the first half, hitting a 3-pointer, scoring on three putbacks, running the floor to convert in transition and scoring off a post move to break the game’s final tie of 2-2.
“She played amazing,” Lewis said. “We got the ball inside because she got position.
“She started us off and she just kept playing hard.”
Johnson had five points when NEPA Elite scored the last nine of the first half and first two of the second half.
McNulty closed the first half with two free throws and opened the second with two more for a 26-9 lead.
The only time the game got as close as seven points during the second half was in the final 15 seconds.
Rose grabbed six rebounds and Colo five to help NEPA Elite win the battle on the boards.
Emily Taylor, a Riverside senior, had four assists.
NEPA Elite 57, Heat Hoops Upper Makefield 21
NEPA Elite scored the game’s first 10 points and opened up a 15-3 lead before allowing a field goal in Sunday’s game against the suburban Philadelphia opponent.
Beach had 12 points and 4 assists to lead an offense that hit better than 50 percent from the floor and from 3-point range.
McNulty, who had eight rebounds and two steals, and Blume, who had three assists, scored eight points each.
Scoblick, who dished out four assists, and Taylor scored seven points each.
The top five scorers combined to shoot 16-for-25 from the floor (64.0 percent).
Blume had five points and Scoblick four in the 15-3 start.