By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
MANHEIM – Both NEPA Elite 15U teams went 1-1 Saturday when the club’s girls teams played the first of two days of competition in The Prime Event East, a Select Basketball Events tournament at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster Country.
A look at how each team did in its two games:
The Scoblick 15U girls split a pair of three-point games in the 2024 Platinum Championship bracket.
NEPA Elite downed the Albany Lady Stars, 43-40, in the opening round, then lost to Team Melo from Baltimore, 37-34, in the Round of 16.
The team has a Sunday 9:05 a.m. game with the Delco Goats-Stack 9th grade team as part of a four-team consolation bracket. It will conclude the tournament at 4:40 p.m. against either Bay State Jaguars 2025 National-Rodriguez or Lehigh Valley Fever National. The winners of the NEPA Elite-Delco and Bay State-Lehigh Valley teams meet while the losers of those two games are also paired.
Finley Bittenbender drained five 3-pointers while scoring 17 points in the opening win. Ellia Wilson and Mackenzie Perluke chipped in with seven points each.
Team Melo led 19-15 at halftime between six-point leads in the late moments of the first half and again almost six minutes into the second half of the second game.
NEPA Elite rallied to create four leads changes and a tie in the last 5:50.
Wilson, who scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the second half, hit a 19-footer for the first of the leads and made a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 34-34 tie with a minute left.
Team Melo took the lead with 48 seconds left, then went just 1-for-6 on free throws in the final 13.2 seconds, but rebounded three of its missed free throws to prevent NEPA Elite from getting a late chance to tie or go ahead.
Elyse Montgomery had six points in the loss.
Bittenbender is from Scranton, Wilson from Lake-Lehman, Perluke from Wyoming Valley West and Montgomery from Honesdale.
The Butler 15U team began with pool play and split its games.
NEPA Elite lost the opener in Pool B, 36-31, to the Vale Sports Club and defeated Lady Raiders-Bennett, 43-20. It finished 1-1 for third in the four-team pool, losing a tiebreaker to the other 1-1 team.
In Sunday’s 3:35 p.m. Gold Consolation brackets, NEPA Elite will face Rebels Academy Rosario. It is part of a four-team bracket that includes Maryland Lady Hoopmasters JV and Pa. Premier. The winners and losers of the 3:35 games will be paired in the finale at 5:45 p.m.
Elizabeth Viglone scored 18 points in the opening loss, going 5-for-8 from the floor, making her only 3-point shot and going 7-for-8 at the line.
Ella Cooper grabbed five rebounds. Lily Soller had two assists and was one of three players with two steals, joining Sadie Gardus and Lily Butler.
Early turnovers got NEPA Elite in a hole as Vale used a 10-2 run to take a 12-4 lead.
Viglone had six points in a 12-0 run to a 16-12 lead with 5:35 left in the half.
Vale scored the last six points of the first half and the first three of the second, holding NEPA Elite scoreless for 5:18 and without a field goal for 8:15 to take a 23-17 lead.
Viglone banked in a 3-pointer to start a 9-1 run in which she scored the first seven points and Gabby Marsola added the last basket that cut the deficit to 32-31 with 2:40 left.
Vale escaped with a victory by not allowing another point.
NEPA Elite combined balanced scoring and stingy defense to come back with a win in the second game.
Gardus and Marsola shared team scoring honors with eight points each.
Viglone added seven points and Soller had seven.
Viglone is from Dallas, Cooper from Valley View, Soller from Pocono Mountain East, Gardus from Carbondale, Butler from Holy Cross Marsola from Wyoming Valley West.