SCRANTON – Periodic updates, with assistance from freelance reporter Ben Magnotta, from Saturday’s action in the third annual KYDA Invitational, presented by Top Tier Events:


SCRANTON – Naasir Cunningham led the with 18 points as the New York Rens EYBL team shook off a slow start to defeat K-Low Elite, 72-53, in the KYDA Invitational 17U Pool.

Cunningham went 6-for-9 from the line while scoring 10 ofhis points in the first quarter to help the Rens take a 17-12 lead. They gotthe offense rolling in the second quarter to expand the lead to 39-26 athalftime.

Matt Lunge led K-Low with 12 points.

Wiz Kids defeated WeR1 UAA, 79-72, in another 17U game to follow up the Rens/K-Low matchup and complete the first day’s action at the University of Scranton’s John Long Center.


SCRANTON – K-Low Elite rallied in the last five minutes to defeat WeR1 UAA, 66-59, in a 17U boys division game at the KYDA Invitational this afternoon.

WeR1 led 49-44 with five minutes left, but missed free throws and fouls on the other end allowed the lead to get away.

The NEPA Elite Coyle boys nearly pulled off a bigger comeback, rallying from 22 down in the third quarter before falling short, 65-62, against the New York Wiz Kids, an Adidas-sponsored team

Elijah Moore led Wiz Kids with 22 points, including 12 in the second quarter to build a 38-23 halftime lead.

Chris Cornish led NEPA Elite with 19 points, 5 rebounds and2 blocked shots. Mason Fedor added 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

The other NEPA Elite teams also got their seasons underway.

NEPA Elite Frank 17U, playing in Pool B, won its first two games,71-48 over PA Flight Select and 63-57 over PA Flight Elite at the University of Scranton’s Byron Recreation Complex.

Chris Ogden hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points in the second win while Daniel Santaniello had 13 points, including three 3-pointers.

NEPA Elite Tillery 16U split the first two games of its three-game Saturday schedule.

Playing at Riverfront Sports, the Tillery team lost to Marston Elite 16U Purple, 65-41, and beat ECP Select McGowan, 65-45.

The NEPA Elite Dempsey 15U team also split its first two games.

NEPA Elite lost to ECP HGSL Romanello, 62-58, and beat Rising Stars from New York, 53-48, at the Byron Complex.

Jordan Shaffer had two 3-pointers in an 8-0 start to the second half to open a 14-point lead against Rising Stars.


SCRANTON – Four games have now been completed on the John Long Center court at the University of Scranton.

East Coast Power teams won the first two games.

After the HGSL Romanello team’s 15U win in overtime (see below for details), the East Coast Power HGSL Richards defeated LABC UAA, 66-50 ,in a 17U Pool A game.

The NEPA Elite Coyle 17U boys made their season debut with a69-43 victory over Philly Pride Select in another 17U Pool A game.

We R1 UAA defeated K-Low Elite, 74-52, then the New York Rens EYBL team topped K-Low Elite, in 16U Pool A games.

Andrew Phillips dominated early for ECP Richards, making sure it never trailed.

ECP Richards took a 14-3 lead on the way to a 24-10 advantage after one quarter and 28-11 early in the second.

Phillips, a 6-foot-4 senior at Malvern Prep had 10 points, 3 offensive rebounds, an assist and steal in the first 5:40. He converted the first two offensive rebounds into putbacks and took a steal the length of the floor for a third basket in the first 5:20. He used his next offensive rebound to assist a teammate’s layup.

Mason Fedor, who grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked 2 shots, and Chris Cornish scored 16 points each to lead NEPA Elite.

Ryan Nealon and Will Marion each went 2-for-3 on 3-pointers while scoring eight points in the first quarter to fuel a 29-11 lead after one. Nealon finished with 11 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Marion had 10 points.

Drew Erickson had a team-high 11 rebounds and shared the team lead of 3 assists. Oliver Almonte and Nealon also had three assists.

Ricky Vinanky made three steals and George Sabatini blocked two shots.

The We R1 16U UAA team includes former Mid Valley player Gabe Tanner, who now plays at the Perkiomen School, the state Independent Schools champion.

The Rens EYBL team took control in the second half of a back-and-forth game.

The Rens scored the game’s first nine points, but then fell behind, 30-16, five minutes before halftime.


SCRANTON – The third annual KYDA Invitational got underway with the younger age divisions at 8 Saturday morning at Riverfront Sports.

The John Long Center court at the University of Scranton joined in at 9:05 for the first of the KYDA Division (17U, 16U, 15U boys) games.

It did not take long to generate the day’s first exciting finish.

East Coast Power HGSL Romanello and Rising Stars of New York went overtime in their KYDA Division 15U Pool A game.

Timmy Dennis did all the scoring in the Elam Ending overtime format for a 65-60 victory.

In the Elam Ending, being used in the KYDA Invitational, the clock does not run for overtime. Instead, the first team to score five points wins.

Dennis, a 6-foot-7 freshman from Episcopal Academy hit a 3-pointer from high on the right side on the first possession, then ran the floor to take in a pass for a transition layup to end the game.


Check back throughout the day for more updates from the KYDA Invitational.

Tom Robinson