Lady ‘Canes’ playoff hopes take big hit
Ambridge (53) Vs. New Castle (35)
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

The road to a postseason berth got a lot tougher last night for the New Castle High girls basketball team.

Ambridge built a 14-point lead and made it stand in a 53-35 WPIAL Section 2-AAA win over the Lady ’Canes at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

The loss pushes New Castle (3-6 section, 7-11 overall) to 2 1/2 games back of the Lady Bridgers (5-3, 10-5) for the fourth and final playoff spot from the section. Ambridge won the first encounter, 51-47.

If the Lady ’Canes do not quality for the playoffs, it will be the first that has happened since the 2001-02 season, when they finished 8-14.

New Castle has three section games left — at Central Valley, home to Ellwood City Lincoln and at Blackhawk. The Lady ’Canes are 1-2 against that trio, knocking off the Lady Wolverines.

“I feel bad for the kids,” first-year New Castle coach Scott Dibble said. “Mathematically, we’re still alive, but our challenge just got a lot bigger.”

Ambridge has league matchups with Ellwood City, Blackhawk, Hopewell and West Allegheny, posting a 2-2 matchup against those squads.

The Lady Bridgers built an 18-4 lead after the first quarter and 25-12 at the break. New Castle cut it to 35-26 going to the fourth, but Ambridge was able to pull away.

“Ambridge runs a pretty strong transtiton game,” Dibble said. “We were concerned about that and we didn’t get back very well early and it cost us.

“We don’t have the offensive firepower to get down. This one is on me. I have to do a better job of getting them prepared.”

Kelsey Scott netted 18 points to lead New Castle and Rachael Razzano was next with eight.

“We play five kids and they get after it pretty hard,” Dibble said. “They give me a ton of support and effort.”

Kelly Haslett led all scorers with 18 points for Ambridge and Katie Fischer was next with 16.

“Fischer is a great player,” Dibble said. “She can do it all; she’s multi-dimensional.

“Fischer creates shots for everyone. Their size wears you down.”
Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Ambridge 18 7 10 18 0 53
New Castle 4 8 14 9 0 35
Box Scores
AMBRIDGE (53)
Katie Fischer 5 6-18 16
Colleen Walsh 0 0-0 0
Abbey Antolic 3 1-2 7
Lexi Korol 1 0-0 2
Sydney Rabold 0 0-0 0
Lexi Hilzendeger 4 2-4 10
Kelly Haslett 5 8-13 18
Alyssa Douds.
Totals: 18 17-27 53.

NEW CASTLE (35)
Rachael Razzano 1 5-7 8
Darrian Johnson 1 0-0 2
Dana Perrotta 2 0-0 5
Kelsey Scott 4 10-11 18
Velvet Wade 1 0-0 2
Jamay Walker 0 0-0 0
Jasmine Evans 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 9 15-18 35.

AMBRIDGE 18 7 10 18 — 53
NEW CASTLE 4 8 14 9 — 35
3-point goals — New Castle 2 (Razzano 1, Perrotta 1).
JV score: New Castle 31, Ambridge 21. High scorer: NC — Kennedy Hudson 13, Abba Frengel 12.

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