By Tom Robinson, NEPAElite.com
MANHEIM – The NEPA Elite Clark 13U girls team made it titles at five straight events Monday, winning the 2026 Platinum Division Pool C during The Hoop Group’s Championship Weekend.
NEPA Elite has won the highest title available to it in two of the previous four events during the streak. In the other two, it won a pool championship, but then lost in bracket play while pursuing an overall title.
The pool championship accomplished Sunday and Monday puts NEPA Elite into Tuesday’s semifinals, needing two wins to take the Platinum Division overall title.
After splitting two games Monday, NEPA Elite needed a three-way tiebreaker, which it won on point differential. NEPA Elite was plus-19 for the three games while Mid Penn Motion 2026 and All Day Hoops 8th Black, the other two teams to finish 2-1, were at plus-17 and even.
NEPA Elite defeated All Day Hoops 8th Black, 52-31, in the early morning game, then lost to Mid Penn Motion 2026, 61-50, in the afternoon.
The first game was decided early.
NEPA Elite opened the game 9-for-11 with four 3-pointers, taking a 24-2 lead in less than five minutes.
With defensive pressure matching the hot shooting, All Day Hoops was already behind 22-2 before it got off its second shot.
Cora Castellani had seven points in the fast start while Eva Kaszuba had six, Ella Clementoni and Chrissy Jacklinski four each and Zya Small three.
Jacklinski finished with 14 points while Clementoni had 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals.
Kaszuba added eight points and Castellani had seven. Small had five points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots.
In a game of streaks, NEPA Elite could not overcome the 18 straight points Mid Penn Motion scored in the first half.
NEPA Elite got as close as one point before its comeback stalled.
Mid Penn Motion opened a 29-10 lead with the 18 straight points over a nearly six-minute stretch in the middle of the first half.
It was the first of three 19-point deficits NEPA Elite faced. The last came when Mid Penn Motion answered a 7-0 NEPA Elite run by scoring the last seven of the first half to make it 39-20.
NEPA Elite scored the first 10 points of the second half, then put together a 9-2 run to get within 49-48 on a Jacklinski putback with 6:58 left.
Mid Penn Motion then decided the game by holding NEPA Elite scoreless for the next 6:30.
Small scored a team-high 15 points, including 9 in the second half. Jacklinski had 14 and Clementoni 11. Castellani scored all seven of her points in the second-half surge to get within a point.
Kaszuba and Castellani are from Valley View. Small and Jacklinski are from North Pocono. Clementoni is from North Pocono.
NEPA Elite faces D1SA Spartans-Brown in Tuesday’s noon semifinal.
A recap of other NEPA Elite girls games Monday:
NEPA Elite Macciocco 16U
The NEPA Elite Macciocco 16U team lost twice in the 2024 HGSL Championship Division, losing a first-round game, 53-29, to XGen Elite 16U HGSL, then falling in a losers’ bracket game, 58-53, to New York Extreme Hoops 16U Red HGSL.
Sophia Talutto scored 16 points and grabbed 5 rebounds against XGen Elite.
Elyse Montgomery also had five rebounds.
Talutto had 17 points, 4 steals and 3 assists to again lead the way in the second game.
Ella Cooper scored 11 points.
Finley Bittenbender scored eight points and Gabby Marsola had six.
Montgomery pulled down nine rebounds.
Talutto is from Dunmore, Montgomery from Honesdale, Cooper from Valley View, Bittenbender from Scranton and Marsola from Wyoming Valley West.
NEPA Elite Rini 15U
The NEPA Elite Rini 15U team split two 2025 HGSL Division losers’ bracket games.
NEPA Elite defeated New York Extreme 15U Red HGSL, 54-41, before falling to Long Island Lightning 15U HGSL, 49-29.
Maggie Coleman scored 11 of her 17 points before missing a shot and sparked the first of two runs that carried NEPA Elite past New York Extreme.
Coleman had nine of the points in a 17-2 start. She began the game with a 3-pointer and hit two more 27 seconds apart for the 15-point lead with 10:38 still remaining in the first half.
New York got as close as 34-30, then a defensive change during a timeout cut off the Extreme’s path to the basket. NEPA Elite scored the next 10 points, starting a 16-2 run in which Ella Smith scored 6 points.
Smith was one of three players to finish with eight points. She also had six rebounds, six steals and three assists.
Isabella Dennebaum and Jenna Hillebrand were the others with eight points.
Coleman had seven rebounds and four assists.
Maggie O’Shea had six points, five assists and three steals.
NEPA Elite controlled the boards, 35-20, not allowing an offensive rebound until 5:20 into the second half.
Dennebaum and Hillebrand are from Scranton Prep. Coleman is from Abington Heights, Smith from Scranton Prep and Shea from Scranton.
The NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls continued their pursuit of a third straight championship with two wins over higher-seeded opponents. https://nepaelite.com/2022/07/mcmiller-perluke-romanowski-lead-team-into-semis/.