All-Star Classic 3-point Shootout Finalists Decided
WILKES-BARRE — The finalists are set for Friday night’s 3-point shootout championship at the 50th annual Dr. George P. Moses Senior All-Star Classic.
The field of 11 boys and 11 girls was trimmed to two boys and two girls by the end of the preliminary rounds Monday at Coughlin High School.
Nanticoke Area’s all-time leading 3-point shooter Nate Kreitzer made the cut on the boys side, where he’ll face Dallas’ Justin Finarelli, who just wrapped up his first season of varsity basketball.
“He’s a good competitor, he’s a great shooter,” Finarelli said of Kreitzer. “It’s going to be a tough matchup, but hopefully I can make a run.”
The girls competition will feature Holy Redeemer 1,000-point scorer Julia Andrejko against GAR’s Olivia Prato.
“I was the point guard, so I never really shot that much; I just passed it off,” Prato said. “I was surprised, honestly. I was like, ‘Wow. I never really shot 3s, but this is awesome.’”
Andrejko and Prato will battle for the championship at halftime of the girls game Friday, which tips off 6:30 p.m. at Holy Redeemer High School.
The Kreitzer-Finarelli final will take place at halftime of the boys game that starts at 8 p.m.
The boys competition began Monday with a quarterfinal round featuring 11 shooters, but only the top four made it to the semifinal round.
Kreitzer had the best score in the quarterfinals, earning 14 of a possible 18 points. He made 8 of 12 3s that counted for one point apiece, while also knocking down all three money balls that counted for two points each.
“I just wanted to come here and shoot like I did the last time I was in this gym,” said Kreitzer, referencing the December night when he made a school-record 10 3s. “That helped. I like the background in here and everything, so I just came out and shot the ball.”
Kreitzer was joined in the semifinals by MMI Prep’s Matt Marchetti (12 points), Finarelli (11) and Pittston Area’s Evan Elko (11).
Kreitzer again had the top score in the semifinal round, when he tallied 13 points.
Elko and Marchetti had seven points apiece in the semifinal round. Finarelli bested them by making 10 points.
Finarelli, who was Dallas’ only senior this season, said he entered the 3-point tournament with a “nothing to lose” attitude that helped ease the pressure and sent him into Friday’s championship.
“It’s going to be fun,” Finarelli said. “It’s an experience that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
All 11 boys shot pretty well Monday, making a combined 112 of 225 3-pointers (49.7 percent).
The girls who qualified for the semifinals were Andrejko and Prato, who had nine points each in the quarterfinals, as well as Coughlin’s Ajalaya Butts and Pittston Area’s Krista Maurizi, who had 10 points each.
After Maurizi scored two points and Butts five in the semifinals, Andrejko stepped up and scored 11 — making 10 of 15 3s — for the highest score by any girl Monday.
“I was actually a little nervous,” Andrejko said. “I haven’t shot a basketball in a while, so thankfully my muscle memory kicked in.”
Prato needed six points to join Andrejko in the final, and she accomplished that with a spectacular performance at the top of the key.
Prato made only one shot from left and right corner, but she caught fire and scored five of a possible six points on the middle rack.
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