Lady ‘Canes start slowly, but top CV
New Castle (57) Vs. Central Valley (50)
By Joe Simon
New Castle News

Two big wins last week did a lot for the New Castle High girls basketball team.

The Lady ’Canes moved into first place in the WPIAL Section 2-AAA standings and beat the two teams ranked No. 1 and 2 in the district in Class AAA, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

It came with a catch. Or, as New Castle coach Jason Rankin put it, “a hangover” of sorts.

New Castle was outplayed for the first two-and-a-half quarters of its section showdown with Central Valley last night, but pulled it together and dominated the fourth quarter for a 57-50 win at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

Rankin said he saw this one coming.

“I expected a hangover because we won two big games last week, but I was really disappointed in our early effort,” he said. “They had a couple of possessions where nobody really boxed out or did anything, so I benched the starters for the first quarter. The one thing that backfired was that we were out of rhythm for two quarters, and to CV’s credit, it’s not like we came back like gangbusters.”

The comeback was more methodical than sudden. New Castle (4-0 section, 7-3 overall) trailed 17-5 after one quarter and 30-21 after two. The Lady ’Canes could only move within seven in the third quarter, but Rankin said they started to generate some offense late in the period, and the momentum trickled over into the final frame, when they outscored Central Valley, 23-8.

“I think the tide changed in the third quarter when we got a couple of baskets,” he said. “It was one of those things where we just had to keep chipping away, and I think we wore them down.

“They didn’t turn it over a lot in the first half, but they had some turnovers in the fourth quarter.”

New Castle took its first lead with 2:30 remaining, 51-50. Kaylynn Waters led the charge with 16 of her game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter. Christina Talbert contributed 18 points and six steals for the Lady ’Canes, who made 12 of 16 free throws in the fourth period. Madalena Rowan paced Central Valley (2-2, 8-2). Her father is former Beaver Falls High and St. John’s University standout Ron Rowan.

“We tried to explain to the kids that (Central Valley) is much improved,” Rankin said. “They’re 8-1, and they haven’t had a quality win yet, but they’re a solid team. We’ve just got to be able to play through this because we’ve got to go through this again, and next time we might not be as fortunate to win these games.”
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 5 16 13 23 0 57
Central Valley 17 13 12 8 0 50
Box Scores
Madalena Rowan 7 4-4 19
Madeline May 4 1-3 9
Elle George 1 0-0 2
Kayla Schwartz 2 0-1 4
Myriah Keefer 1 0-1 2
Lashonda Owens 0 0-0 0
Sierra Barrett 5 1-2 11
Jocelyn Warfield 1 1-2 3.
Totals: 21 7-13 50.

Rachael Razzano 0 2-2 2
Dana Perrotta 2 1-4 6
Kelsey Scott 1 2-3 4
Christina Talbert 7 4-9 18
Kaylynn Waters 6 10-11 24
Nakea Fish 0 0-0 0
Darrian Johnson 0 0-0 0
Brandy Stewart 0 0-0 0
Velvet Wade 0 0-0 0
Ki’Ria McPhatter 1 1-2 3.
Totals: 17 20-31 57.

CENTRAL VALLEY 17 13 12 8 — 50
NEW CASTLE 5 16 13 23 — 57

3-point goals — Central Valley 1 (Rowan 1), New Castle 3 (Waters 2, Perrotta 1).
JV score: New Castle 56, Central Valley 38. High scorer: NC — Darrian Johnson 14.
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