By Tom Robinson,
MANHEIM – The NEPA Elite Clark 13U girls team pulled away in the second half of one game, then rallied in the other to win both its games Saturday in the Select Events Basketball’s Prime Event East at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County.
The Macciocco 16U team split its games on what was otherwise a difficult day for the club’s teams in a highly competitive event.
The two-day tournament ends Sunday.
A recap of Saturday’s results involving NEPA Elite teams:
Clark 17U
The NEPA Elite Clark 17U team lost twice in the 2023 Division Championship bracket and will play two Sunday afternoon games in a four-team consolation bracket.
Essence EYBL dominated on the boards in a 69-42 victory in the opener.
NEPA Elite then fell, 62-47, to United NJ 17U Platinum-Osta.
Kiyomi McMiller led NEPA Elite with 20 points and 4 steals during the first loss.
McMiller made four 3-pointers and Ella Wilson added three. Wilson finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
NEPA Elite improved its rebounding, but struggled from 3-point range in the second game.
McMiller led the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Newcomer Marasia Dyes pulled down 11 rebounds.
Daniella Ranieli hit the team’s only 3-pointer while adding seven points.
Emily Romanowski, who grabbed five rebounds in each game, added six points.
Cadie Lewis was the only NEPA Elite player with two steals in the game.
McMiller is from Silver Spring, Md. Dyes is from Seton Catholic in Binghamton, N.Y.
Wilson is from Lake-Lehman, Ranieli from Pittston Area, Romanowski from Western Wayne and Lewis from Dunmore.
Macciocco 16U
The NEPA Elite Macciocco 16U team split its two games in in the 2024 Gold Division.
After falling to Team Melo, 40-30, NEPA Elite bounced back with a 57-47 victory over I-90 Elite 2024-McCauley.
NEPA Elite is in the main consolation bracket and, if it keeps winning, could play up to three games Sunday.
Team Melo, from Baltimore, outscored NEPA Elite, 20-15, in each half of the opener.
Sophia Talutto scored 16 points to lead NEPA Elite in the opener. Elizabeth Viglone added seven.
Elyse Montgomery was the top rebounder with five.
Kennedy Bittenbender shared the assist lead of three with Emily McDonald and the steals lead of two with her sister, Finley Bittenbender.
The Bittenbenders led the scoring in the win. Finley had 16 points and 3 assists. Kennedy scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds.
NEPA Elite made nine 3-pointers in the win – four by Finley Bittenbender, three by Kennedy Bittenbender and two by Gabby Marsola.
McDonald chipped in six points, seven rebounds and two steals while Talutto had five assists.
The Bittenbenders are from Scranton, Talutto is from Dunmore, Viglone from Dallas, Montgomery from Honesdale, Marsola from Wyoming Valley West and McDonald from Abington Heights.
Butler 16U
The NEPA Elite Butler 16U team dropped a pair of 2024 Gold Championship Division games Saturday and will be part of a four-team consolation bracket with two games Sunday afternoon.
Saturday’s losses came to York Thunder 2024, 39-31, and Sisterskeeper NYC, 48-43.
Mackenzie Schirg from Lackawanna Trail led the team in both games, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in each.
Schirg had 14 points, 5 rebounds (4 offensive) and 2 steals in the opener. She followed that up with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in the second game.
Jenna Luciani opened the scoring with two free throws, then Schirg and Lily Butler hit 3-pointers for an 8-0 start against York.
The Thunder came back with the next nine points for the first of seven lead changes.
York went ahead to stay by making its fourth straight 3-pointer to begin a second half in which it was 5-for-7 from long distance.
Luciani had seven points and a team-high seven rebounds. Helayna Weidow dished out three assists.
Butler and Luciani are from Holy Cross. Weidow is from Scranton Prep.
Rini 15U
The NEPA Elite Rini 15U team fell twice in the 2025 Division Championship bracket and dropped into a four-team consolation bracket that will have games Sunday morning and afternoon.
Saturday’s losses came, 59-35, to Philly Rise 15U EYBL and, 43-41, to Germantown Lady Panthers 15U GUAA.
Jenna Hillebrand was the top scorer with 10 points in each game.
Ella Smith was 5-for-6 from the line to add seven points while sharing the team rebound lead of four with Maggie Coleman against Philly Rise.
Madeleine Walsh scored 6 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds against Germantown.
Smith scored eight points while Isabella Dennebaum had seven points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Hillebrand and Dennebaum are from Scranton Prep while Walsh and Coleman are from Abington Heights and Smith is from Wallenpaupack.
Clark 13U
Chrissy Jacklinski had a strong all-around game and Ella Clementoni hit the game-winning free throw in the final minute as the NEPA Elite 13U girls completed a comeback from a double-figures deficit to defeat Western PA Bruins 7th UA Future, 45-44.
Earlier, NEPA Elite defeated Exodus NYC, 53-31, in its first 2027 Division Pool C game.
NEPA Elite took command of Pool C as the only one of four teams to make it through the first day at 2-0. With an early Sunday morning game remaining in pool play, it appears to have secured the tiebreaker advantage over either of the teams that could potentially tie for first place if NEPA Elite loses.
Each of four pool winners advance to a four-team championship bracket with a late morning semifinal and afternoon championship.
Cora Castellani scored 17 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and made 3 steals in the opening win.
Eva Kaszuba added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Clementoni had 11 points.
Jacklinski provided 6 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. All 12 of her rebounds came on the defensive end, including 8 in the second half.
NEPA Elite dominated the boards, 27-11, in the second half to break open a 23-17 game.
Ava Fenton added seven rebounds and Emma Coleman had five. Fenton also had a team-high five assists.
Kaszuba had the first five points and Castellani the last five of a 12-2 run early in the second half to open the lead to 35-21.
Both teams overcame big deficits before settling in for a close battle in the second half of the NEPA Elite-Western PA Bruins game.
The Bruins made five of their first six shots while jumping to a 16-5 lead.
NEPA Elite answered with a 27-6 run to a 32-22 halftime lead.
Jacklinski had 16 of the points during the run and finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals.
The Bruins closed the gap with the first nine points of the second half and neither team led by more than four the rest of the way.
There were five second-half ties and Western PA briefly moved in front midway through the half.
Jacklinski answered to tie the game and put NEPA Elite back in front, 40-38.
Kayli McHugh and Fenton scored to finish the 8-2 run that opened a four-point lead, but Western PA came back one more time to tie the game in the last two minutes.
Clementoni made the first of two free throws for the only point of the final minute and Jacklinski came up with a loose ball for a steal with a second left to secure the win.
Castellani added 11 points while leading the defense with 5 steals and 2 blocked shots.
Fenton had six points, seven rebounds and three assists. Clementoni made four steals.
Castellani, Kaszuba and Fenton are from Valley View; Clementoni and McHugh are from North Pocono; Jacklinski is from Scranton; and Coleman is from Abington Heights.