New Castle rolls to season-opening victory
New Castle (81) Vs. Perry Traditional (30)
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

New Castle High boys basketball coach Ralph Blundo lost his voice last night.

It’s about the only thing that went wrong for the Red Hurricane.

Corey Eggleston netted a game-high 21 points to lead New Castle to an 81-30 victory over Perry Traditional Academy in the first round of the New Castle Tipoff Tournament.

“It just happened,” said Blundo, the ’Canes’ second-year coach, of losing his voice. “I turned around and told my assistants I can’t talk, that I lost my voice. We got through it, though.”

The ’Canes will square off against West Middlesex, a 60-58 winner over Beaver Falls, at 7:30 p.m. today in the tournament championship game. New Castle is gunning for its second straight title in its own tournament.

“It’s always important to us, winning our own tournament,” Blundo said. “We don’t want anyone else coming in here winning our tournament.

“West Middlesex is very fundamentally sound. We’ll prepare and be ready for them.”

New Castle started slowly, trailing 9-2 just 1:50 into the game. But the ’Canes closed the quarter on a 28-0 run for a 30-9 buffer. Blundo said his voice disappeared at some point during the offensive explosion in the first frame.

“It was kind of like the jitter thing,” Eggleston said of the team’s early struggles. “We were all just too excited for the game and ready to get out there and play. We weren’t playing like we know how to play.

“I told everybody to cool it down and keep their head together. Everything is going to be all right. Shawn (Anderson) talked to the guys, too, and that helped us out.”

Eggleston, a senior guard, netted 10 of his points in the first quarter, and 19 in the opening half.

“I was just trying to get our team back in it and get off to a good start,” Eggleston said. “I was trying to put us back in position where we can settle things down.

“Shawn helped me a lot by being in the right places. That helped me get steals and assists.”

Anderson added 14 markers for New Castle and Anthony Richards chipped in with 11.

Eggleston was active in all areas, with 10 assists and numerous steals.

“That was just a solid game for Corey,” Blundo said. “The type of game that I’ve come to expect from him.

“He absolutely understands what we have to do out there. The one thing I love about him is he always makes the right play. He rarely passes when he should shoot. And he rarely shoots when he should pass, and that’s a tribute to him. That’s great basketball.”

New Castle led 58-21 at the half and 74-26 through three quarters.

The Commodores committed 27 turnovers in the first half and 39 for the game.

“I think we were just fundamentally in the passing lanes and played like coach explained it to us at practice every day,” Eggleston said. “We knew that was going to help us and it turned out to be good.”

Donte Marcus led Perry Traditional Academy with eight points.
(E-mail: rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
New Castle 30 28 16 7 0 81
Perry Traditional Academy 9 12 5 4 0 30
Box Scores
PERRY (30)
Paul Currington 1 0-0 3
Darelle Carson 3 1-3 7
Donte Marcus 3 2-2 8
Isaiah Reeves 2 1-2 5
Don Miller 0 0-0 0
Trevon Webb 1 2-2 5
Desean McGhee 0 2-2 2
Marcus Dean 0 0-0 0
Jywuan Byrd 0 0-0 0
Ross Hawkins 0 0-0 0
Dave Edmonds 0 0-0 0
Totals: 10 8-11 30

NEW CASTLE (81)
Brandon Domenick 3 0-0 7
Corey Eggleston 9 3-4 21
Shawn Anderson 5 4-5 14
Anthony Richards 4 0-0 11
Malik Hooker 1 0-0 3
Antonio Rudolph 4 1-1 9
Jermaine Cuffie 1 0-1 2
Stew Allen 2 0-0 4
Jesse Salzano 1 1-2 3
Drew Allen 3 0-0 7
Levar Ware 0 0-0 0
Totals: 33 9-13 81

PERRY 9 12 5 4 — 30
NEW CASTLE 30 28 16 7 — 81

3-point goals — Perry Traditional Academy 2 (Currington 1, Webb 1), New Castle 6 (Domenick 1, Richards 3, Hooker 1, D. Allen 1).
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