By Tom Robinson, NEPAElite.com
MANHEIM – Zya Small and Chrissy Jacklinski led the way for the 14U Clark team while Natalie Goldstein led the 15U Scoblick team Saturday as each NEPA Elite squad posted a pair of victories at the Select Events Basketball Live at the Nook.
NEPA Elite teams went a combined 6-4 on the day with two of the losses coming by a single point on baskets in the last five seconds. The teams are 8-4 total since starting out with six losses Friday in the three-day event, which is being held primarily at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County.
Action concludes Sunday with each of the six NEPA Elite entries playing one game.
A recap of Saturday’s action:
NEPA Elite 14U Clark
NEPA Elite set up a Sunday afternoon showdown with WPA Bruins UA Future to decide first place in the 2027 Division Pool C when it won twice, including handling the pool’s other potential contender in the first game of the day.
NEPA Elite is 3-0, outscoring its opponents by 94 points, including an impressive, 48-31 victory over the Bay State Jaguars 2027 National team.
Small went head-to-head with 6-foot-3 Ella Peper from Bay State and finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists compared to Peper’s 7 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Small was 9-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-7 from the line.
Jacklinski turned in a strong all-around performance with 8 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots while matching Small’s 4 steals.
“I think Zya gave (Peper) some problems, as much as she wanted to be on the perimeter,” coach Kevin Clark said. “And, the way Chrissy was able to bang inside, being that outmatched size-wise, was incredible.”
With Jacklinski and Small leading the way, NEPA Elite controlled the boards, 22-9 in the game and 40-23 overall.
“Coming into the game, we saw that we were clearly outmatched,” Clark said of facing an opponent with players 6-3, 6-2, 5-10 and 5-9 in the starting lineup. “We let the girls know that was going to win us the game, if we didn’t get outrebounded.
“They spent the extra effort and time of making sure they stuck to the fundamentals and boxing out. That really helped us.”
Cora Castellani added six rebounds while Kam Gallis and Ella Clementoni had five each.
Castellani, who dished out three assists, and Gallis also scored six points while Clementoni had five points to go along with three steals.
Peper opened the scoring on a 15-footer from the left baseline, but NEPA Elite scored the next 10 points and never trailed again.
Gallis started the run with a 3-pointer and Castellani capped it with another.
Two Jacklinski drives helped NEPA Elite score nine more in a row and open a 22-11 lead with five minutes left in the half.
Bay State began the second-half scoring, but NEPA Elite did not allow another basket for 10 minutes and gave up only nine points in the second half.
NEPA Elite wrapped things up in the latest game session of the night, winning 51-20 over New Jersey Shoreshots Dubina by forcing 20 first-half turnovers without committing a foul.
Small hit five straight shots during the first half and again led the way with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. She was 7-for-10 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the line.
Jacklinski had 15 points, 6 rebounds (5 offensive) and 2 steals.
Clementoni scored NEPA Elite’s first nine points, sparking a 15-0 run after the Shoreshots opened the game with a 3-pointer. NEPA Elite forced five turnovers before allowing the second New Jersey shot.
Small had all five steals, Castellani had four of her five, Clementoni had three and Jacklinski added another during the first half.
Clementoni also finished with four assists while Gallis had three.
Small and Jacklinski are from Scranton; Clementoni from North Pocono; Castellani from Valley View and Gallis from Notre Dame of Bethlehem.
NEPA Elite 14U Alers
NEPA Elite played its only game of the day at nearby Millersville University where it handled New Heights from New York City, 35-15, in the 2027 Division Pool G.
At 2-1 for the weekend, NEPA Elite is part of a three-way tie for second place in the six-team pool, behind only UBC 2027 Black, the team it lost to 40-35 in the opener.
NEPA Elite has outscored its two opponents since, 82-23.
NEPA Elite 15U Scoblick
NEPA Elite won twice in the morning to improve to 2-1, tied for second out of six teams in the 2026 Division Pool B.
After defeating the Syracuse Nets, 53-43, NEPA Elite got past the Staten Island Diamonds, 32-27.
Natalie Goldstein scored 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds against the Nets.
Goldstein was 12-for-18 from the floor and made both her free throw attempts.
Amanda Dempsey hit a pair of first-half 3-pointers on the way to 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Addison Kilmer, who grabbed 12 rebounds, and Maeve Haggerty, who had 5 rebounds, each scored 6 points.
Goldstein shared the team scoring lead in the second win, joining Celia DeCesare with nine points each.
Lily Scoblick grabbed nine rebounds and Dempsey contributed two steals.
Goldstein is from Honesdale, Dempsey from Dunmore, Kilmer from Mountain View, Haggerty from Scranton Prep, DeCesare from North Pocono and Scoblick from Abington Heights.
NEPA Elite 16U Rini
NEPA Elite lost the day’s opener on a buzzer-beating, 3-pointer, but left no doubt in the second game.
After falling to the Boston Lady Rivals 3SSB, 41-40, NEPA Elite routed Team Impact, 73-11, for its first win in three weekend games.
NEPA Elite scored the first 20 points of the game against Team Impact and the first 23 of the second half for a 57-9 lead. It did not allow a field goal for 11:50 to begin the game and 9:45 to start the second half.
Sophia Talutto hit three straight shots in 49 seconds in a personal, 6-0 run to a 10-0 lead. Daniella Ranieli had 10 of the points in the 20-0 start.
Claire McGrath and Maggie O’Shea had five each in the 23-0 run to open the second half.
Ella Wilson led the win with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots.
Jenna Hillebrand added 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Ranieli had 13 points and 3 steals.
Talutto finished with nine points, seven assists and five steals while all nine NEPA Elite players scored at least three points.
O’Shea finished with five points, five rebounds and five assists.
NEPA Elite led 40-31 before being shut out over the last 4:29 of the game against Boston.
Protecting a two-point lead, NEPA Elite was able to run the clock down from 1:34 to 13.6 seconds before committing two late turnovers. The second turnover, in the backcourt with 2.4 seconds left, led to the game-winning, in-bounds play by the Lady Rivals.
Hillebrand had 10 points in the loss, including 8 while NEPA Elite was outscoring the Lady Rivals, 22-11, to begin the second half.
Talutto, Maya Jenkins and Maggie Coleman added eight points each. Talutto also made three steals.
McGrath, Hillebrand and Jenkins are from Scranton Prep; Talutto is from Dunmore; Ranieli from Pittston area; O’Shea from Scranton; Wilson from Lake-Lehman and Coleman from Abington Heights.
NEPA Elite 16U Butler
NEPA Elite fell to the South Jersey Titans, 55-36, at Millersville University in its only game of the day.
The team dropped to 0-3 on the weekend while playing in the 2025 Division Pool I.
Bella Dennebaum had 11 points and 6 rebounds in the loss.
Navaeh Baran went 3-for-5 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the line while adding nine points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Madeleine Walsh added seven points and seven rebounds.
Dennebaum is from Scranton Prep, Baran from Nanticoke and Walsh from Abington Heights.
NEPA Elite 17U Macciocco
New York Extreme Black completed a comeback in the closing seconds to post a 36-35 victory over NEPA Elite in the second 2024 Division Pool O game of the day.
NEPA Elite dropped to 0-2 on the day and 0-3 for the weekend.
The New York Gauchos 3SSB 16U team, playing up an age group for the weekend, beat NEPA Elite, 58-19, in an early morning game.
The first win was within reach when NEPA Elite combined control of the boards with accurate 3-point shooting to build a 24-12 halftime lead on Extreme Black.
Frankie Martinelli went 3-for-5 and Mackenzie Perluke went 2-for-4 from long range in the first half while Mackenzie Schirg grabbed six of her nine rebounds to key a 24-16 advantage on the boards.
The rebounding evened out in the second half and NEPA Elite went cold offensively, missing all eight of its 3-point attempts and shooting 20 percent (4-for-20) overall.
NEPA Elite held the lead for 17 minutes before the teams traded it down the stretch.
Perluke completed her game-high, 12-point scoring effort with a 15-footer from the baseline off a Martinelli feed for a 35-34 lead in the last two minutes.
That lead held up until the final 10 seconds when Naieliz Torres, who led the comeback with 17 points, made a steal to send Extreme Black up court in transition. NEPA Elite made the initial stop, but Paige Williams scored the winner on a putback with about 5 seconds remaining.
NEPA Elite had scored the last 13 points of the first half only to have Extreme Black score the first 10 of the second half to get back within 24-22 less than five minutes in.
Martinelli made three 3-pointers, including a pair 20 seconds apart near the three-minute mark, to complete the 13-point run. She finished with 11 points and 3 assists.
Ella Cooper also had three assists.
Schirg finished with nine rebounds.
Layla Hernandez had five points, four defensive rebounds and two steals.
Perluke is from Wyoming Valley West; Martinelli from Marian Catholic, Schirg from Lackawanna Trail, Cooper from Valley View and Hernandez from East Stroudsburg South.