Lady 'Canes crush Ellwood
New Castle (79) Vs. Ellwood City (24)
The New Castle High girls basketball team got back in the win column last night.
Kaylynn Waters netted a game-best 26 points to propel the Lady ’Canes to a 79-24 WPIAL Section 2-AAA win over Ellwood City Lincoln.
The win broke a two-game losing streak for New Castle (4-1 section, 12-2 overall), which is ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL in Class AAA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“Obviously you don’t want to carry a streak longer than you have to,” said first-year coach Jason Rankin. “You want to play some quality competition but you play what the schedule dictates.”
The Lady ’Canes dropped their second game 48-47 against Hopewell on Monday.
“We’re at the foul line to take the lead with 14 seconds left and we lose the game,” Rankin said. “Now people are talking about a losing streak. If we make that and play defense we’re talking about an incredible win. That’s how the breaks go.”
Waters netted 22 of her markers in the first half. She was 12 of 18 from the field with four steals.
“Waters got out and got some easy baskets,” Rankin said. “That helped us out tremendously. I’m happy with the effort she gave and the way she defended.”
LaShauna Brothers was next for the Lady ’Canes with 15 markers on 7-of-10 shooting. She handed out six assists as well. JaNia McPhatter chipped in with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
The loss is the 99th consecutive section defeat for the Lady Wolverines (0-4, 5-7).
Michelle Nocera paced Ellwood City with 12 points.
“She plays hard,” Rankin said of Nocera. “She has an array of shots and she’s a great starting point for the program.”
The Lady ’Canes were 36 of 64 from the floor, while forcing 42 Ellwood City turnovers.
New Castle returns to action at 2 p.m. tomorrow when it travels to Hampton (11-3). The Lady ’Canes open the second half of section play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday when they host Ambridge.
“We’re going to have to come to play every night,” Rankin said of the push for a section championship. “We do have some challenges The great thing is we’re playing those teams at home; that’s at least some type of positive for us.
“Our work is cut out for us. We’ve played a tremendous schedule so far and we feel we’re battle tested. They have an understanding for what it takes down the stretch.”