By Tom Robinson, NEPAElite.com
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The NEPA Elite 15U Scoblick team rode a strong inside game, taking advantage of the free throw opportunities it created, into the 15U championship game of the Hoop Group Showcase League.
NEPA Elite won quarterfinal and semifinal games in the 15U HGSL Championship Bracket Sunday at the Convention Center. It will play Monday at 1:30 p.m. against the New Jersey Shoreshots with a chance to give NEPA Elite its third title in the four-year history of the HGSL. The club won 17U championships in 2020 and 2021 and finished as runner-up in that age group last season.
Addison Kilmer led the way, scoring a total of 41 points Sunday, Day Three of four in The Hoop Group Championship Weekend.
Kilmer had 23 points in the 51-45 quarterfinal victory over New England Storm. The 6-foot-2 forward who earned first-team high school Class A all-state honors as a freshman at Mountain View followed that up with 18 points and 4 steals against the Syracuse Nets in the semifinals, a 44-41 victory.
“I think Addison asserted herself today and on the defensive end,” coach Dave Scoblick said. “She was excellent on the offensive end, but I challenged her to guard the perimeter a bit and she did a great job with that.”
Kilmer spent time at the top of an aggressive zone defense that forced 41 turnovers in the 2 games.
“As a group, we did some things different on defense, playing one team a third time and playing against another very good team,” Scoblick said. “The girls handled it very well.”
Another thing they handled well was foul shooting.
NEPA Elite made 13 straight first-half free throws in the quarterfinal after missing the first attempt, then made all 12 of its second-half attempts in the semifinals. Overall, the team was 26-for-32 (81.3 percent), then 12-for-14 (85.7 percent).
Amanda Dempsey and Jackie Brown each made all six of their free throws against New England while Karsyn Kromko made all four of her tries.
Dempsey had 11 points and 3 assists. Brown did all her scoring at the line and added eight rebounds. Kromko had three steals.
Lily Scoblick contributed seven rebounds and three steals while Celia DeCesare had six rebounds to help the team to a 32-27 advantage on the boards.
NEPA Elite grabbed 11 of the first 12 rebounds to stay in the game when the Storm came out hitting 3-pointers, making 5 in the first 7 minutes for a 17-9 lead.
New England reached halftime with a 28-24 lead and had NEPA Elite in foul trouble.
After the Storm scored the first four points of the second half to double its lead, NEPA Elite roared into the lead with a 15-2 run. Kilmer asserted herself during the run with six points and Scoblick put NEPA Elite in the lead by connecting while falling to the floor on a three-point play.
The Storm forced two more ties, but Dempsey and Kromko answered with 3-pointers each time.
Kromko’s basket with 1:48 left was followed by 3-for-4 foul shooting down the stretch.
NEPA Elite scored the first eight points of the semifinal, including six off its low-post game.
Syracuse fought back, catching up with a 14-3 run late in the half, leading to 16 lead changes and 3 ties.
NEPA Elite held the Nets scoreless for four minutes late in the game while Goldstein hit four free throws and Kilmer made two for a 42-38 lead.
After the Nets made a 3-pointer with 16.2 seconds left, Goldstein made both ends of a one-and-one with 14.5 remaining and the NEPA Elite defense kept Syracuse from getting off a shot at the tie.
Goldstein finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
Dempsey had eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
Scoblick had six rebounds and three steals.
Kilmer and Brown each had four rebounds as NEPA Elite again had an advantage in that category.
Goldstein and Kromko are from Honesdale. Dempsey and Brown are from Dunmore. Scoblick is from Abington Heights and DeCesare is from North Pocono.
MORE TO COME
Return to this website for coverage of the other Sunday games for NEPA Elite teams, plus the games still ahead on Monday as the Championship Weekend wraps up.