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Club teams win 11 of 12

GAME DAY: Saturday, 8/22


In the younger divisions of the Summer Shootout, four teams based out of Riverfront Sports in Scranton went 2-0 Saturday.

Those teams included:

JB Hoops Shaffer and JB Hoops Rotell in the 5th Grade Boys Division. The Shaffer team is a fourth-grade team playing up against older competition.

NEPA Flames McHugh in the 5th/6th Grade Girls Division.

NEPA Flames Evans in the 7th Grade Girls Division.


UPDATED: 10:49 p.m.

Rachel McDonald started fast and the NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U girls defense made sure it took a long time for the Unatego Spartans to get going.

McDonald had 11 points in the first five minutes and NEPA Elite held Unatego without a field goal for the first 11:52 on the way to a 49-25 romp at Riverfront Sports in a Summer Showdown game.

NEPA Elite scored the game’s first 15 points, 11 of them by McDonald.

McDonald had two 3-pointers and Alexis Chapman scored off a Lauren Casey feed following an Avery McNulty steal as NEPA Elite hit its first three shots for an 8-0 lead in first 1:40.

McNulty scored on a steal and breakaway, leading to an early timeout by the Spartans.

NEPA Elite was not ready to slow down yet.

McDonald scored the next five points, capping the game-opening streak by hitting her third 3-pointer.

The rising senior guard from Abington Heights scored all 17 of her points in the first half when she was 5-for-6 from 3-point range.

Jenna Beach took over the scoring load in the second half when she had 11 of her 13 points. McDonald had already finished her scoring when Beach got her first points with 21 seconds left in the first half.

Unatego was scoreless for 5:19 and scored its first eight points from the foul line.

McDonald also had four steals and three assists.

Chapman scored nine points and dished out three assists.

Kayla Rose grabbed 9 rebounds, including 6 of the team’s 18 offensive rebounds. She also shared the assist lead with four.

McNulty joined McDonald with four steals.

Beach is a senior guard from North Pocono.

Chapman is from Dunmore, Casey from Nanticoke, McNulty is from Scranton Prep and Rose from Riverside.


UPDATED: 8:52 p.m.

Carena Colo broke loose for 12 points in 5 minutes late in the game to lead the NEPA Elite Genco 17U girls to a 50-38 victory over the Unatego Spartans.

The Genco team, a new addition to the Scranton-based club this week, finished 3-0 in its first event, the Summer Showdown on its home court at Riverfront Sports.

Colo scored 14 of the team’s 17 points in the final 9 minutes. The rising senior guard/forward from North Pocono made two 3-pointers and added a three-point play off a putback during the big finish.

NEPA Elite teams have a combined 17-1 record on the weekend, including 11-1 today.


MORE TO COME: The games are done for the night, but we’ll continue to add more updates. Return to this page for additional coverage.


UPDATED: 8:02 p.m.

SCRANTON – The NEPA Elite 16U girls gave up a basket just 28 seconds into the game, but allowed only two more for the next 27-plus minutes while routing JCC from Vestal, N.Y., 46-17, in the Summer Showdown at Riverfront Sports.

Kallie Booth had five points, three rebounds, three steals and three assists while helping NEPA Elite run off 17 straight points after the first JCC basket.

Booth was the first player to come off the bench, making an early entrance and an immediate impact.

It was a steal at midcourt and drive by Booth that produced the team’s first points after a 3:20 scoreless stretch to start the game. Booth was the spark behind the first 14 points in the streak before returning to the bench.

The rising sophomore guard from Pittston Area finished with team-highs of 11 points and 4 steals while sharing the lead of 4 assists.

NEPA Elite got started with seven steals in the first 3:35.

After the defense set up the first three baskets, the offense started clicking, going 9-for-16 on 3-pointers.

Defensive pressure and the transition game have been a key for the 7-5 team, but the half-court offensive output and attack from beyond the arc are an improvement from some earlier efforts.

“I think we’re settling into our offense a little more,” 16U coach Morgan Birmelin said. “We had two great practices this week where we really focused a lot on our offense.

“We can be more confident in it. We got a lot of shots up this week so maybe that helped. We seemed to be in a rhythm last night and tonight.”

Booth was 3-for-5 from long distance.

Brooke Arnold and Gianna Dickson each made both of their 3-point attempts with adding eight points each.

Anna Williams added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds, including six on the offensive end.

Lizzie Pettinato had four assists and three steals.

Nadia Evanosky and Katherine Shepherd each grabbed six rebounds.

NEPA Elite built the lead as high as 44-10 with 5:10 remaining.

Arnold is from Old Forge, Dickson from Scranton Prep, Williams from Tunkhannock, Pettinato from Abington Heights, Evanosky from Dallas and Shepherd from Western Wayne.


MORE TO COME: More scores and game details still ahead. Return to this page throughout the night.


UPDATED: 7:47 p.m.

The NEPA Elite Carra/Lewis 17U girls handled the Unatego Spartans, 49-25, to finish 2-0 in the Summer Showdown and improve to 10-2 overall.


MORE TO COME: More scores and game details still ahead. Return to this page throughout the night.


UPDATED: 7:11 p.m.

SCRANTON – Jalik Nicholls fueled the fast start that carried the NEPA Elite 15U boys team to a 69-43 romp over Shot Kingz.

The win was the second straight in the Summer Showdown at Riverfront Sports for the team coached by Ryan McGoff.

NEPA Elite opened leads of 10-0 and 19-2.

Nicholls, a 6-foot-4 rising sophomore guard/forward from Holy Cross, scored 10 points and grabbed 4 rebounds and dished out 2 assists to help the team score 19 of the 21 points in the first 5:10.

NEPA Elite started 4-for-4, leading to Shot Kingz calling a timeout after just 1:27.

Nicholls assisted Nico Bossi’s post move to open the game, hit a 3-pointer on the next possession, then created the 10-point lead on a 3-pointer from the left corner.

James Pettinato hit a 3-pointer and assisted on three baskets during the 19-2 start.

Shot Kingz surged within 23-17 with 5:26 left in the half, but never got any closer.

NEPA Elite opened the lead back to 40-23 at halftime.

Pettinato is from Scranton Prep and Bossi is from Abington Heights.


MORE TO COME: Return to this page throughout the night for more updates on NEPA Elite teams in the Summer Showdown.


UPDATED: 3:36 p.m.

SCRANTON – The NEPA Elite 15U boys improved to 2-0 on the day, then the NEPA Elite 16U girls made it to 2-0 for the weekend.

Both won decisively.

The 15U boys handled Shot Kingz, 69-43, behind strong games from Danny Nemitz, James Pettinato and Nico Bossi.

The 16U girls ran off 17 straight points in the first half and defeated JCC, 46-17.

Kallie Booth, Brooke Arnold and Gianna Dickson combined to go 7-for-9 on 3-pointers while Anna Williams grabbed six offensive rebounds.

The wins give NEPA Elite teams 15 in 16 games this weekend.


MORE TO COME: Return to this page this evening. Additional details on these two games and scores on the remaining games still to come.


UPDATED: 2:17 p.m.

SCRANTON – A successful weekend for NEPA Elite teams continued with two more wins on adjacent courts in 12:35 p.m. games in the 9th Grade Boys Division of the Summer Showdown at Riverfront Sports.

The NEPA Elite 15U boys defeated Hoopz Academy Elite, 71-45, while the NEPA Elite 14U boys were hammering Syracuse Select-9, 56-16.

Hoops Academy closed within, 22-19, before three straight 3-pointers by NEPA Elite 15U in less than 2½ minutes opened up a more comfortable lead late in the first half.

Conor Holland and Sean Murphy hit from each corner before Rykeese Cenord made his 3-pointer from the right wing for a 31-19 lead with 3:27 left.

Holland is from Marathon, N.Y, Murphy from Berwick and Cenord from Scranton.

The NEPA Elite 14U boys opened an 18-0 lead by holding Syracuse scoreless for the first 8:02.

The results improved NEPA Elite boys teams to 5-1 for the day in the Summer Showdown. The NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys won a pair of games in Allentown, making the program 7-1 overall on the day and 13-1 for the weekend with the help of a 6-0 record by girls teams Friday night.


MORE TO COME: Return to this page throughout the day for more coverage of NEPA Elite teams in the Summer Showdown.


UPDATED: 1:38 p.m.

Nick Nocito’s 3-pointer from the right corner with two seconds remaining broke a tie and lifted the NEPA Elite Basalyga boys to their third win of the day, 51-48, over Syracuse Select 11.

NEPA Elite won the 11th Grade Boys Division game by rallying from five down in the final six minutes, including scoring eight of the game’s final 10 points.

Nocito and Austin Finarelli, both guards going into their junior years at Dallas, produced all the points in the closing run.

Nocito hit a 3-pointer from the right corner for a 46-46 tie with 2:40 left.

Finarelli made a move to the basket in transition for a 48-46 lead with 1:30 to go.

Syracuse tied the game on a tip-in with 42 seconds left, then committed a series of fouls before NEPA Elite came out of a timeout with the ball on the right wing, in front of its bench, with 6.5 seconds left.

Nocito worked free on the baseline, received the pass as he arrived in the corner, pivoted and drained the winning shot.

The Select got off a contested, running shot from midcourt at the buzzer, but it was well off the mark.


MORE TO COME: Return to this page throughout the day for more coverage of NEPA Elite teams in the Summer Showdown.


UPDATED: 11:42 a.m.

Both NEPA Elite 17U boys teams are now 2-0 on the day.

The NEPA Elite Basalyga 17U boys defeated Syracuse Select A, 66-50, in the second of their three morning games in the Summer Showdown at Riverfront Sports in Scranton.

The NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys already finished the day 2-0 in Get Live 2020 in Allentown.

The morning results make 17U teams from the Scranton AAU club a combined 9-0 for the weekend. The three 17U girls teams were a combined 5-0 Friday night in Girls High School Division games.


MORE TO COME: Return to this page throughout the day for more updates on games involving NEPA Elite teams.


UPDATED: 11:31 a.m.

Christian Fermin scored 13 of his team-high 20 points in the first half, then Ryan Harder helped the NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys get through a rocky second half for a 65-62 victory over the L&L Rebels in Get Live 2020.

NEPA Elite finished the event in Allentown with a 2-0 record.

After scoring the game’s first eight points and building the lead into double figures, NEPA Elite fell behind in the second half.

Harder scored all eight of his points in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers for a 44-36 lead with 7:02 remaining.

L&L tried to rally again late and hit a 3-pointer to get within two points with 4.9 seconds left.

Gavin Bednarz hit one of two free throws for the game’s final point.

Bednarz and Michael Skoff had seven points each. Caleb Vigil had six while Cole Walker and Ethan Meuser added five.

Fermin is a rising junior forward from Pocono Mountain West.

Harder is from Tunkhannock, Bednarz and Skoff from Scranton Prep, Vigil from Lakeland, Walker from Wilkes-Barre Area and Meuser from Wyoming Seminary.


UPDATED: 10:10 a.m.

Call it the Elite Eight.

NEPA Elite teams are now 8-0 for the weekend.

While the rest of the NEPA Elite teams are playing at home in Scranton in the Summer Showdown at Riverfront Sports, the NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys are in Allentown for Get Live 2020.

NEPA Elite Coyle pulled away in the second half to win the first of its two games, beating PA Bulldogs, 61-44.

Caleb Vigil from Lakeland led the balanced attack with 12 points. Gavin Bednarz from Scranton Prep and Ethan Meuser from Wyoming Seminary added 10 each while Christian Fermin from Pocono Mountain West had eight.

NOTE: Scoring totals are from the scorebook at the game, which appeared to be missing a few baskets.


MORE TO COME: Return to this page throughout the day for more updates on games involving NEPA Elite teams.


UPDATED: 9:31 a.m.

Austin Finarelli led the way, getting boosts from Harry Johnson and Jajuan Nicholls in the second half, as the NEPA Elite Basalyga 17U boys fought off a comeback by the Wyoming Valley Barons to win the first 11th Grade Division game of the Summer Showdown at Riverfront Sports, 67-59.

The Barons trimmed a 14-point deficit to 1 in the second half after also closing from 11 behind to within 1 during the first half.

Finarelli slowed the rally with a three-point play, then Nicholls hit back-to-back 3-pointers.

Before Wyoming Valley hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 22 seconds, NEPA Elite had used a 20-7 run to secure the victory. Finarelli had eight points, including a couple of three-point plays, during the run, which also included the Nicholls 3-pointers and two baskets by Johnson.

Finarelli, a rising junior at Dallas, finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Johnson, an Abington Heights senior, matched Finarelli in producing 10 second-half points. He finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Nicholls, a 6-foot-7 junior forward from Holy Cross, produced a double-double. He had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

Wyoming Valley’s last lead was 5-4.

Finarelli had his first five points and Scranton’s Jason Shields added four during a 12-2 run to a 21-10 lead midway through the first half.

The Barons got within one before Shields hit a 3-pointer to close the first-half scoring, the NEPA Elite added the first 10 points of the second half for a 13-point streak. Johnson had six points while Finarelli scored and set up two of his baskets in the streak that built the game’s biggest lead at 40-26.

Justin Smith from Pocono Mountain West shared the team assist lead with Finarelli with four.

Shields scored all eight of his points in the first half and Nick Nocito from Dallas had also seven of his in the second half.


MORE TO COME: Return to this page throughout the day for more updates from the Summer Showdown.


POSTED: 8:10 a.m.

The second day of the Summer Showdown at Riverfront Sports is about to begin with three games.

The NEPA Elite Basalyga 17U boys will get a busy morning started with the first of their three games, an 8:15 start against the Wyoming Valley Barons in an 11th Grade Division game.

The NEPA Flames girls and JB Hoops boys, who are also based at Riverfront, also have a team in action in the first set of games.


MORE TO COME: More scores and game details on the way. Return to this page throughout the evening.


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