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Clark team begins HGSL Championship pursuit tonight

The four NEPA Elite girls teams and the program’s youngest boys team will be back in action in Hoop Group weekend events at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim Township, Lancaster County.

The NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls are the top seed in the 16-team HGSL bracket at the Hoop Group Girls Championships, which are set for tonight through Sunday. It is the only NEPA Elite team that begins action tonight.

The Hoop Group Showcase League (HGSL) is the highest level of competition in the Hoop Group, conducted among top teams at Hoop Group events throughout the season. The Clark team is 21-4 overall going into this weekend’s championship event, which also marks the conclusion of the season for the girls teams in the first-year club out of Riverfront Sports in Scranton.

Corey Joyce’s NEPA Elite 14U boys team is entered in the Hoop Group Fall Jr. Jam Fest Saturday and Sunday.

The Clark team will play New Jersey Freedom HGSL in one of two 6:30 games that open the tournament tonight. There are four opening round games tonight and four others Saturday.

If the Clark team can advance, it will have games at noon and 1:15 Saturday in an effort to reach Sunday afternoon’s championship game. There are also consolation brackets for teams that lose in each step of the championship pursuit.

Others pursuing the HGSL title are: New Hope Academy Caldwell, Heart & Hustle, New Jersey Shoreshots 2021, Maryland Lady Tigers, Long Island Lightning – Flynn, Syracuse Royals 2021, I-90 Elite Wight, United New Jersey Platinum, Mid-Atlantic Magic 2021, Empire State Blue Flames – 2021 Nick, Germantown Lady Panthers, New Jersey Belles – Fagan, Long Island Renegades and Central PA Dynamite 2021.

The NEPA Elite Lewis 17U and NEPA Elite Genco 17U teams are both part of the 12-team 2021 Division. Although there are three Friday games scheduled in that division, neither NEPA Elite team starts until Saturday morning.

In the 2021 Division, teams are separated into four pools of three teams each for round-robin play. The four pool winners will play in a championship bracket while the second-place teams will play in another bracket and the third-place teams will have their own bracket.

The NEPA Elite teams would only be paired against each other if they have the same finish in their pool and then the same result in the first round of bracket play.

Morgan Birmelin’s NEPA Elite 16U team, which competed in that age group’s HGSL, is among the 16 teams in the 2022 Division.

The 2022 Division carries the same format as the HGSL Division.

NEPA Elite will face I-90 Elite Pinkerton Saturday at noon in an opener. Teams need four straight wins to take the title. Those that lose along the way will be entered into consolation brackets.

On the boys side, NEPA Elite is entered in the 14U Spooky (2025) Division of the Hoop Group Fall Jr. Jam Fest.

NEPA Elite plays in the four-team Pool C where it opens against Virginia Elite Saturday at 12:40 p.m. It has two Saturday and one Sunday game in pool play.

Because Pool C is the only four-team pool in the 10-team division, its winner advances right to the championship game where it plays the winner of a semifinal between the champions of Pool A and Pool B, which each have three teams.

Pool C’s second- and third-place teams also get one more game Sunday. The fourth-place team is done at that point.

The other two opponents in the pool are East Coast Power – Horvath and G State Bounce Elite.


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