NEPA Sports Nation

Scranton hosting all-star games

The Lackawanna League’s top senior basketball players will get together for an all-star doubleheader Monday night at Scranton High School.

Senior all-star games were lost to COVID adjustments the past two years and Forest City is likely to resume hosting the girls game next season, but for at least one year the top graduating girls and boys players will be showcased in one gym.

Future Drexel University teammates and multiple-year, all-state selections Moriah Murray from Dunmore and Kylie Lavelle from Riverside will be teammates in the girls game at 6 p.m.

Four seniors who helped Scranton win consecutive division and subregional titles will get to play together on their home court one more time for their high school coach, Tony Battaglia.

Lavelle will also play for her coach, Riverside’s Jack Mekilo, who will be in his final game after announcing his retirement last week.

Mike Judge, whose Western Wayne teams won consecutive Lackawanna Division 2 titles and played against Mekilo’s Riverside teams in the last two District 2 Class 3A finals, will coach the other girls team.

Jim McGinnis, who coached Wallenpaupack to two of the last three Lackawanna Division 2 titles, is the other boys coach.

The girls opener is split into the league’s two smaller school divisions, Divisions 3 and 4, playing the larger schools, Divisions 1 and 2.

Mekilo’s Blue Team includes two players from Lackawanna Division 3 and District 2 Class 4A champion Dunmore, three from his District 2 Class 3A champion Riverside, one from District 2 Class 2A champion Holy Cross and two from District 2 Class A champion Susquehanna.

Riverside is the most represented team with Katie Slaboda and Morgan Antoniacci joining Lavelle.

Murray is joined by Dunmore teammate Mia Blume. Kaci Kranson, another all-state player, is the Holy Cross representative. Meghan Kiernan and Mackenzie Decker are the Susquehanna players.

The rest of the team is Lakeland’s Skylar Arendt and Angelica Nowak, Elk Lake’s Krista Jones, Lackawanna Trail’s Megan Gatto and Mid Valley’s Katie Glinsky.

Judge’s Red Team features three players from Lackawanna Division 1 champion Scranton Prep and two from his Lackawanna Division 2 champion Western Wayne team.

Lizzie Neville, Maria Belardi and Avery McNulty will represent Scranton Prep. Kaeli Romanowski and Katherine Shepherd are the Western Wayne players. Neville was recently named Division 1 Player of the Year and Romanowski already has two Division 2 Player of the Year honors to her credit.

The team also includes Honesdale’s Chloe Lyle and Rowan Murray, Wallenpaupack’s Megan Desmet and Devon Kiesendahl and West Scranton’s Olivia Dougher.

The boys game sends players from Divisions 1 and 3 against those from Divisions 2 and 4.

Battaglia’s Red Team will include Jason Shields, who was recently named as’s Lackawanna Division 1 Player of the Year for the second straight time. Shields will be playing with his Scranton teammates Arvel Chandler, Josh Williams and A.J. Dinterman. In addition to winning Lackawanna Division 2, they won District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional and reached the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state quarterfinals.

The team also includes Will Kittrell from District 2 Class 2A champion Holy Cross and Ayden Davitt from state Class 2A semifinalist Old Forge.

The rest of the Red roster is Scranton Prep’s Robert Rossi, Andrew Ferguson and Matt Cobb, Dunmore’s Adriel DeNaples and Kevin Walsh, Abington Heights’ Jamison Bessoir and West Scranton’s Antonio Torres.

McGinnis’ Blue team has three players from his Division 2 champion Buckhorns and two from Division 4 champion Elk Lake.

Jack Smith, Wyatt Peifer and T.J. Schmalzle will represent Wallenpaupack while Matt Mowry and Trevor Graham will represent Elk Lake. Mowry was the 2021 Division 4 Player of the Year.

The team also consists of North Pocono’s Ryan Ruddy and Billy Pabst, Delaware Valley’s Ryan Doherty, Lackawanna Trail’s Brycen Decker, Mountain View’s Ryan Henke, Riverside’s Michael Samsell, Susquehanna’s Spencer Beamer and Western Wayne’s Ryan Vinton.

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