Lady ’Canes win, but lose Waters
New Castle (67) Vs. Ellwood City (29)
A 38-point victory never felt so somber for the New Castle High girls basketball team.
The Lady ’Canes lost their leading scorer, junior Kaylynn Waters, to a knee injury in the first few minutes of their 67-29 WPIAL Section 2-AAA victory over Ellwood City Lincoln.
Coach Jason Rankin said he did not know the extent of the injury, but he feared the worst.
“It’s tough to speculate. It could be anything from a sprain to a tear,” he said. “It was just one of those situations where one of their players was going for a loose ball and kind of undercut (Waters). They were both just going for the ball.”
New Castle (1-0 section, 3-1 overall) did shut down what had been a high-scoring Lady Wolverines attack. The Lady ’Canes scored 30 points in the first quarter, leading 46-19 at the half, and held Ellwood City to one point in the third quarter. LaShauna Brothers led New Castle with 26 points and six rebounds.
“Brothers really picked up the slack,” Rankin said. “She had to play guard more than she usually does, and she did a good job. We beat a team that was headed in the right direction. This isn’t the same Ellwood team from the past few years.”
Ja’Nia McPhatter contributed 12 points for the Lady ’Canes, and Maria Romano scored 10. Asia Borders led Ellwood City (0-1, 2-1) with eight points, all of which came in the first quarter.
Rankin said it will have to be a team effort to make up for the loss of Waters, if in fact it is a serious injury.
“She was our leading scorer, and she helped us in a lot of other areas — she averaged 10 rebounds — so everyone’s going to have to pick it up a little bit,” he said. “We still have some good players left, so if it’s a situation where she’s going to be out for a length of time, they’re going to have to really step up their game and get it together.”