By Tom Robinson, NEPAElite.com
EAST STROUDSBURG – After two of the three days in The Hoop Group’s Girls PA Jam Fest, half of the six NEPA Elite teams are still in contention for titles.
Balanced scoring and strong finishes allowed NEPA Elite teams to go a combined 9-3 Saturday, improving to 11-4 on the weekend.
The 14U Clark team is 3-0 in the Jam Fest while the 14U Alers and 16U Butler teams are 2-0.
A recap of how each team did Saturday at East Stroudsburg University:
NEPA Elite 14U Alers
NEPA Elite finished first in the three-team 14U Mountain Division Pool B by winning both its games Saturday, beating the Schuylkill Fever, 49-24, in the morning and GU14 S-Elite, 61-30, in the afternoon.
The title of the six-team division will be decided Sunday at10:10 a.m. when NEPA Elite faces the Keystone Karma 8th-grade team.
Kayli McHugh and Jaelyn Alers led the scoring.
McHugh had 15 points and Alers 14 while Jackie Gallagher made 5 steals in the first win.
NEPA Elite placed four scorers in double figures in the second game.
McHugh and Alers each hit three 3-pointers while scoring 16 points. Gallagher added 12 and Emma Coleman had 10.
McHugh is from North Pocono, Alers from Scranton, Gallagher from Crestwood and Coleman from Abington Heights.
NEPA Elite 14U Clark
Playing up in the 15U Stroudsburg Division, NEPA Elite added two wins Saturday to finish 3-0 and win Pool A, earning a spot in Sunday’s 9:05 a.m. semifinals.
NEPA Elite will face Pool B winner Wyoming Valley Junior Clutch 9th, trying to get a shot at the winner of Pool C, which is currently led by the Philadelphia Belles with one game left. That game will decide the champion of the 12-team division.
NEPA Elite defeated United NJ 15U-Gaba, 51-36, and rallied past Lehigh Valley Fever 15U HGSL, 49-43, in Saturday’s games.
Zya Small had 13 points and the other 4 starters had at least 7 in the win over United NJ.
Ella Clementoni added 11 points, Cora Castellani had 10, Kam Gallis 8 and Chrissy Jacklinski 7.
Lehigh Valley led with five minutes left before Small scored seven points and fed Castellani for a 3-pointer in a 10-2 run to a 46-39 lead with 1:36 remaining.
Small had 11 points in the last 14:17 without missing a shot – hitting four times from the field and three times from the line, including finishing a three-point play to start the run and put NEPA Elite ahead to stay. She finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocked shots, 4 steals and 3 assists.
Castellani added 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.
Gallis scored eight points and Clementoni seven, each making two 3-pointers as part of the team’s 7-for-17 effort (41.7 percent).
Small and Jacklinski are from Scranton. Clementoni is from North Pocono, Castellani from Valley View and Gallis from Notre Dame of Bethlehem.
NEPA Elite 15U Scoblick
NEPA Elite split its two games Saturday to finish 2-1 and in second place of four teams in Pool B.
After beating Syracuse Nets 15U HGSL, 53-52, then falling to Wyoming Valley Junior Clutch 9th, 46-41, in the game that decided the pool title, NEPA Elite will play a Sunday 8 a.m. consolation game against United NJ 15U-Gaba.
Maeve Haggerty had eight points while Amanda Dempsey and Natalie Goldstein had six each to get NEPA Elite out to a 24-12 lead before Syracuse scored the last 11 points of the first half to get within one at the break.
The Nets went from down 12 in the first half to up 10 in the second before NEPA Elite rallied.
Down one with six seconds left, NEPA Elite put Syracuse on the line where it hit the first of two shots.
Jackie Brown rebounded the second, pushed the ball up the floor and found Dempsey, who nailed the game-winning 3-pointer with less than a second remaining.
Addison Kilmer had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks in the late-nigh loss.
Brown had 10 points, all in the first half when she helped bring the team back from an early, 13-2 deficit to lead at times in each half.
Dempsey and Brown are from Dunmore. Goldstein is from Honesdale, Kilmer from Mountain View and Haggerty from Scranton Prep.
NEPA Elite 16U Butler
NEPA Elite opened its tournament Saturday, winning two games to take the lead in the 16U Mountain Division Pool B going into Sunday’s pool finale.
If NEPA Elite can hold its pool lead, it will play for the title of the eight-team division.
NEPA Elite defeated Lehigh Valley Fever Regional, 41-39, in overtime, then topped GU16 S-Elite, 35-27.
Lehigh Valley scored the first four points of the Elam Ending overtime in which the first team to five points won.
Madeleine Walsh then scored for NEPA Elite.
Bella Dennebaum, who had missed the last shot of regulation, rallied NEPA Elite into the tie with one basket, then ended the game with the winning basket.
Dennebaum scored 10 of her game-high 15 points after halftime.
Kathryn Morgan added seven points while Nevaeh Baran and Madelyn O’Shea had six each.
Dennebaum was also the team’s high scorer in the second win with 11 points.
Teagan Strunk added seven and Morgan had six.
Dennebaum is from Scranton Prep, Walsh from Abington Heights, Morgan from Lake-Lehman, Baran from Nanticoke, O’Shea from Scranton and Strunk from Stroudsburg.
NEPA Elite 16U Rini
NEPA Elite, playing in the 16U Stroudsburg Division, a bracket competition, won its first-round game over Central PA Elite 16U, 49-30, but lost in the quarterfinals to Lehigh Valley Fever 16U HGSL, 58-45.
NEPA Elite plays an 8 a.m. consolation game against Long Island Lightning 16U HGSL Sunday.
Maya Jenkins scored 10 points while four teammates added eight each in the win.
Ella Wilson had 10 rebounds to go along with her 8 points. Claire McGrath had eight points and six rebounds.
Daniella Raniella and Maggie Coleman each had eight points and two steals.
Sophia Talutto chipped in six points.
Ranielli scored 14 points and Wilson had 9 in the loss.
Jenkins and McGrath are from Scranton Prep. Wilson is from Lake-Lehman, Ranieli from Pittston Area, Coleman from Abington Heights and Talutto from Dunmore.
NEPA Elite 17U Macciocco
NEPA Elite dropped a pair of games in the 17U Stroudsburg Division losers’ bracket, falling to Staten Island Bulldogs 17U HGSL, 51-38, and Team PA 17U Black, 38-28.
Frankie Martinelli scored 10 points and Mackenzie Perluke 9 in the game against Staten Island.
Martinelli, who hit three 3-pointers, and Ella Cooper had 10 each against Team PA.
Martinelli is from Marian Catholic, Perluke from Wyoming Valley West and Cooper from Valley View.