EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the KYDA Invitational Blog from the first day of the 2021 event, originally posted May 1, 2021 on NEPASportsNation.com.
By Tom Robinson
SCRANTON – Periodic updates from Saturday’s action in the first KYDA Invitational:
Team Melo from Baltimore opened a 17-point halftime lead, then held off the NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys, 58-56, in a Platinum 17U Division game.
Bryce Lindsay hit three straight 3-pointers in the first 2:10 for Team Melo. He wound up 5-for-8 from long range with a team-high 21 points.
Team Melo forced 21 turnovers, including 13 while taking its 37-20 halftime lead. Trey Thomas had four steals while Lindsay and Quadir Copeland made three each.
Justice Shoats started 4-for-4 to score all 10 NEPA Elite points in the first 10:07. Shoats, from Holy Redeemer in Wilkes-Barre, finished with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Ethan Meuser, a Wyoming Seminary senior who is headed to The Hill School for a postgrad year, added 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Shoats was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and 10-for-19 overall with most of his other shots coming on a series of drives in traffic.
Team Thrill’s Noah Batchelor buried a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer and teammate Trey English hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 34 seconds left in overtime, but it was not enough to get past Team Final in the Platinum 17U Division.
Jahmeel Brown drove for the game-winning basket with 19 seconds left and Otega Oweh added both ends of a one-and-one with 7.9 seconds left to lift Team Final to the 71-68 overtime victory.
As of late Saturday, just two Platinum 17U teams were 2-0, Team Rens and City Rocks from New York.
City Rocks defeated Team Melo, 71-57, and New York Gauchos, 70-59.
The NEPA Elite Miller 16U boys team, NEPA Elite Wignot 17U boys team and JB Hoops-Sunseri team, playing in the 10th/11th Grade Boys Division, all suffered losses in late afternoon/early evening games.
The closest of those was Rising Stars from New York over NEPA Elite Miller, 58-52, in a Platinum 16U Division Pool C game.
Abdou Halil Barre scored 12 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked 6 shots to lead New York Rens past NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys, 56-48, in the Platinum 17U Boys Division.
Denver Anglin made four straight 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 19 points to lead the Rens (Renaissance Hoops).
NEPA Elite led 15-8 in the first half, but the Rens scored the next 12 points, including 8 by Anglin on two 3-pointers and a breakaway. They never trailed again.
Justice Shoats led NEPA Elite with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
NEPA Bulldogs-Hopkins routed Team PA, 60-19, in a Boys Seventh Grade Pool A game at the Throop Civic Center.
Two local teams were on the wrong end of games decided by large margins.
The New Jersey Bulldogs defeated the NEPA Elite Wignot 17U boys, 83-33, in the Platinum 17U Division Pool C. PA Flight downed NEPA Bulldogs-Kovaleski, 61-32, in Boys 10th/11th Grade Division.
The 3-point shooting of Cadie Lewis and Gianna Cafarella helped NEPA Elite Sheehan 16U girls go 1-1 on the day with the loss coming by just two points, 57-55, to LionsHeart Queens W in a 10th/11th Grade Division Pool B game.
Lewis is from Dunmore and Cafarella is from Scranton Prep.
The NEPA Bulldogs-Piccolino won a Boys 9th Grade Division game over In the Zone-Piazza, 60-45.
KYDA Invitational fans got their first look at Jalen Duren, the second-ranked college prospect in the Class of 2022, according to ESPN.
Duren and 7-footer Dereck Lively showed why they are highly regarded prospects, but it was the New York Rens who came out on top of one of the day’s most anticipated matchups with a 73-58 victory in the Platinum 17U Division Pool A game.
Kyle Filipowski led the way with 21 points.
Filipowski joins Simeon Wilcher and Roddy Gayle to give the Rens (Renaissance) three of ESPN’s top 48 players in the nation in the current junior class.
In a schedule change, NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys will not open until 4:40 and they’ll do so against what may be the most impressive team here so far today, the Rens squad that is coming off the big win over Team Final PA.
Filipowski is a 6-foot-10 power forward with shooting range. He is from Wilbraham & Monson Academy in New York City.
The excitement level was ramped up on Court 1 at Riverfront Sports for a Platinum 16U Division Pool A game in which Team Final PA was unsuccessful in an extended hold for the final shot of regulation, but wound up beating New York Rens, 53-49, in overtime.
Kachi Nzeh gave the Rens (Renaiassance) the lead on the first point of the two-minute extra session. On the other end, Nzeh blocked a shot and tied up the rebound for possession on the held ball arrow with the lead and 42.5 seconds left.
Team Final PA, however, came back with the game’s final five points.
Ruben Rodriguez made a steal and fed Justin Edwards on the left wing for a go-ahead 3-pointer in transition.
Rahmir Barno made both ends of a one-and-one with 1.8 seconds left to clinch the win.
Elsewhere, the NEPA Elite Van Zelst 16U boys lost to Rising Stars of New York, 66-55, in a Platinum 16U Division Pool C game at Scranton High School.
The NEPA Bulldogs won a Boys 9th Grade Pool A/B game at the Moosic Youth Center, 60-45, over In the Zone-Piazza.
Local teams from Riverfront Sports picked up some momentum as the morning progressed going 3-1 in the games that filled the 10:10, 10:30, 11:15 and 11:45 starting time slots.
The NEPA Elite Butler 15U girls began their day with a 66-34 victory over In the Zone-Henritzy in a 9th/10th Grade Girls Pool A game.
Elizabeth Viglone led three double figures scorers with 13 points. Lily Soller, who grabbed 7 rebounds, and Gabby Marsola, added 11 each.
Viglone is from Dallas, Soller from Pocono Mountain East and Marsola from Wyoming Valley West.
The NEPA Elite Joyce 15U boys picked up their second straight win at Scranton High School, beating Utica Select Jayhawks, 57-44, in a Platinum 15U Division Pool C game.
The NEPA Elite Sheehan 16U girls team earned its first win of the season, 42-31, over In the Zone-Watkins in a 10th/11th Grade Girls Division Pool B game.
The loss came when In the Zone-Petruny defeated JB Hoops-Tweedy, 39-30, in a 9th/10th Grade Girls game.
Action began at 9:05 a.m. when three games started at Riverfront Sports in Scranton.
Local teams from Riverfront played In the Zone teams in each of the early games, two of which were won by In the Zone, an AAU program from Bath, Pa.
The NEPA Elite Scoblick 15U girls team defeated In the Zone-Petruny, 60-23, in the Girls 9th/10th Grade Division Pool A game.
In the Zone-Watkins downed NEPA Flames-Reno, 43-23, in Girls 10th/11th Grade and In the Zone-Henritzy topped JB Hoops-Tweedy, 45-31.
Just minutes after those games started up, action also began at Scranton High School and the Throop Civic Center.
NEPA Elite Joyce 15U boys defeated Rising Stars from New York, 56-50, in a KYDA Platinum 15U Pool C game in the first game at Scranton High.