Lady ’Canes fall to Hopewell in Pink-Out battle
Hopewell (56) Vs. New Castle (43)
An early deficit was exactly what New Castle High girls basketball coach Jason Rankin was worried about last night.

He didn’t want his Lady ’Canes to face an uphill battle in their WPIAL Section 2-AAA showdown with Hopewell, but that’s just what happened.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough helped the Lady Vikings grab an early lead and they never looked back in a 56-43 victory in the third annual Par for the Cure Pink-Out Game at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

Walker-Kimbrough scored a game-high 28 points and played lock-down defense for Hopewell (8-2 section, 16-2 overall), which moved a half-game ahead of New Castle (7-2, 11-6) in the section. The Lady ’Canes now have lost three in a row.

“Getting behind really hurt us because we can’t manufacture points like we did before,” said Rankin, whose team is without standout Kaylynn Waters for the rest of the season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. “We were playing catch-up all night. Walker really played well. She pulled up and was hitting shots, and it’s almost impossible to guard her when she’s making shots. She’s so long and quick, and she just gives you a lot of problems.”

She also played defense against New Castle’s Christina Talbert, who scored eight points, tying her season low. Kelsey Scott paced the Lady ’Canes with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Dana Perrotta added 10 markers.

Hopewell jumped out to a 22-12 first-quarter lead, and Rankin said the Lady Vikings drastically slowed the pace in the second half to halt any chance at a New Castle run.

“We were down 11 at their place the last time we played, but we were able to get back in the game,” Rankin said. “This time when they got ahead, they slowed it down, and I give them credit, I think they were worried about us making a run, and they made us work for everything we got. We just didn’t have anything left in the fourth quarter.”

Not all was lost for New Castle. The Lady ’Canes can still tie for a section title if they win out and Hopewell beats Blackhawk in their upcoming game. And the attendance for the Pink-Out Game was near 1,200, Rankin said, something he hopes continues to spike the awareness of breast cancer.

“It was a nice crowd,” he said. “We had a lot of sponsors and a lot of awareness. I was really proud of that. I’ve been to other ones, and I thought one thing we had was a lot of commitment from everyone involved.”

New Castle has another big game on Thursday as it travels to fourth-place Central Valley (5-4, 13-4).

“It’s still a work in progress without Kaylynn,” he said. “We have to continue to adjust. We need to rebound and play well, and I think we will.”
Game Scoreboard
Hopewell 22 14 9 11 0 56
New Castle 12 10 11 10 0 43
Box Scores
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough 12 3-4 28
Jharrin Gill 1 5-6 8
Shaniya Rivers 2 5-6 9
Cassidy Rizzo 1 0-0 2
Alexis Parish 1 0-0 2
Raquel Farris 1 0-0 2
Kari Steuer 2 1-2 5.
Totals: 20 14-18 56.

Rachael Razzano 1 0-0 2
Dana Perrotta 2 6-7 10
Kelsey Scott 4 7-11 15
Christina Talbert 3 2-2 8
Nakea Fish 0 0-0 0
Darrian Johnson 1 0-0 3
Brandy Stewart 2 1-5 5
Velvet Wade 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 13 16-25 43.

HOPEWELL 22 14 9 11 — 56
NEW CASTLE 12 10 11 10 — 43

3-point goals — Hopewell (Gill 1, Walker-Kimbrough 1), New Castle (Johnson 1).
JV score: Hopewell 49, New Castle 39. High scorer: NC — Nakea Fish 10.
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