NEPA Elite players made it two straight weeks of landing Brucelli Advertising District 2 Girls Basketball Player of the Week awards and two straight weeks of producing all three finalists.
Cecelia Collins from Scranton Prep was selected for the award for the week of January 18-24 while Rachael Rose, a teammate on both the Classics and the NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls team, was also considered. Old Forge’s Olivia Ciullo, another member of the NEPA Elite Clark team, was the other nominee.
Collins was selected after the Scranton Prep senior produced 20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in a come-from-behind, 50-45, victory at Dunmore in a meeting between defending division and district championship teams that had advanced to the state quarterfinals last season.
“Offensively, she means so much to us because she’s so clever,” Scranton Prep coach Bob Beviglia said after Collins shot 7-for-13 from the floor, including 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, against Dunmore. “She has an understanding of where people are on the floor.”
Collins had seven of her points and three of her steals while Scranton Prep was rallying from seven down in the last six minutes with a 15-3 closing flurry.
That effort was part of a week that included the Bucknell University commit scoring all 16 of her points in the first half of a season-opening, 71-27 rout at Wallenpaupack.
“I think we did a really good job of running on them, but I don’t think we were satisfied with our defense,” Collins said after the team took a 47-11 halftime lead in its first game.
Collins said the team was better defensively against Dunmore.
“I feel like we improved a lot more and we need to have that defensive mindset going into every game,” she said.
Collins has been a four-year varsity player at Scranton Prep, winning Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2 Class 4A titles each season. She was a third-team Class 4A all-state selection last season by Pennsylvania Sports Writers along with being a first-team, all-District 2 and first-team Lackawanna Division 1 all-star last season for her role in a perfect season by the Classics.
Rose matched Collins’ scoring totals of 16 and 20 in the two games and contributed 5 steals, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the win over Dunmore.
Ciullo had a double-double in Old Forge’s season-opening, 47-41 win over Holy Cross in a rematch of last season’s District 2 Class 2A championship game. She had 6 of her game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter when the Lady Devils outscored the Lady Crusaders, 12-0, to pull out the win.