SCRANTON – Next Level Strong used its inside strength to overcome a halftime deficit and defeat the NEPA Elite 16U girls team, 51-43, Sunday in a 9th Grade Division game during the Summer Shootout at Riverfront Sports.
Next Level Strong was the top 9th Grade Division team, going 3-0 in the event.
NEPA Elite gave Next Level Strong the closest of its three games, but had trouble with the Lewisburg-based team’s ability to get close to the basket using three different approaches.
Next Level Strong generated 49 of its 51 points from in the paint. It used 11 offensive rebounds to help draw 13 first-half fouls on NEPA Elite. Strong post play and drives to the basket led to 77.8 percent shooting 14-for-18 from the floor in the second half.
For the game, Next Level Strong was 12-for-21 from the line while NEPA Elite was 6-for-11. It took 18 of the foul shots in the first half and first 26 seconds of the second half.
Despite the difficulty with fouls and rebounds, NEPA Elite led by as many as six points during the first half and was up, 22-19, at the break.
Julia Glowacki gave NPEA Elite its last lead, 36-34, on a 3-pointer with 8:30 remaining.
Next Level Strong then went on a 10-1 run.
Katherine Shepherd and Cadie Lewis, who were each 2-for-4 on 3-pointers, shared the team scoring lead with 10 points.
Glowacki finished with eight points and eight rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end.
Sam Polishan was 2-for-3 on 3-pointers. She scored all six of her points during a 9-0 run in 52 seconds for a 13-7 lead with eight minutes left in the half.
Nadia Evanosky chipped in with five points and five rebounds.
Evanosky and Gianna Dickson each had two steals. Dickson joined Lewis and Shepherd as the players with two assists.
The game was the only one played by the NEPA Elite 16U girls during the first event held on their home court.
Glowacki is a rising junior forward from Crestwood. Shepherd is a junior guard/forward from Western Wayne. Lewis is a sophomore guard from Dunmore. Polishan is a sophomore guard from North Pocono. Evanosky is a junior guard from Dallas. Dickson is a junior guard from Scranton Prep.