New Castle rolls to 12th victory
New Castle (73) Vs. Ambridge (43)
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News


AMBRIDGE — The New Castle High boys basketball team took care of business Tuesday night.

Marquel Hooker and Marcus Hooker scored 24 points apiece to lead the Red Hurricane to a 73-43 WPIAL Section 2-AAA road win over Ambridge.

That win sets up a key showdown for first place Friday night for New Castle against Beaver Falls. That game will take place on the Tigers' home floor.

New Castle (5-0 section, 12-0 overall) is No. 3 in the WPIAL in Class AAA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Beaver Falls (5-0, 11-1) is No. 1.

"I think we've been good with that over the last few years," 'Canes coach Ralph Blundo said of his team not looking ahead. "It's about focusing on the moment.

"I don't think they were thinking about Beaver Falls at all. Ambridge was a formidable opponent. We knew they could come out and beat us if we didn't play well."

Marquel was 9 of 19 from the field, while his younger brother Marcus was 9 of 11. Marcus pulled down a game-best 18 rebounds and Marquel was next with eight.

"I thought they both played well at different times," Blundo said. "They both played hard and they were rebounding the ball well."

Marquel handed out five assists and Marcus dished out four.

The 'Canes were 25 of 52 from the field and they outrebounded the Bridgers, 41-21.

"All of our guys hit timely shots," Blundo said of his team. "That's a big number (the rebounds). I thought we went and got it.

"We were good from the free-throw line, too."

New Castle continued its strong play from the outside, going 12 of 28 from behind the arc.

"We've shot it well all year from the outside," Blundo said. "In a big road game like this one we went out and shot it well."

Darius Lawrence led Ambridge (3-2, 6-4) with 27 points.

Beaver Falls slipped past Hopewell on Tuesday night, 58-51, to set up Friday's first-place showdown.

"The way high school basketball works, there's no time to enjoy victories," Blundo said. "We'll dig in and get ready for them.

"Beaver Falls is a great place to play. There's a lot of tradition down there and we're excited about that."

(Email: rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
New Castle 22 9 20 22 0 73
Ambridge 9 10 14 10 0 43
Box Scores
NEW CASTLE (73)
Marquel Hooker 9 1-2 24
Geno Stone 2 0-0 6
Micah Fulena 1 4-5 7
Pat Minenok 2 2-2 6
Te'Quawn Stewart 0 0-0 0
Marcus Hooker 9 4-4 24
Gino DeMonaco 2 0-0 6
Lorenzo Gardner 0 0-0 0
Garrett Farah 0 0-0 0
Brandon Parchman 0 0-0 0
Chris Dorman 0 0-0 0
Totals: 25 11-13 73

AMBRIDGE (43)
Romin Schell 2 0-0 4
Darius Lawrence 5 16-17 27
Nick Damballous 2 1-3 6
Tre Thomas 1 0-0 3
Aaron Hilzendeger 1 0-1 3
Matt Ruppert 0 0-0 0
Kyle Raha 0 0-0 0
Totals: 11 17-21 43

NEW CASTLE 22 9 20 22 — 73
AMBRIDGE 9 10 14 10 — 43

3-point goals — New Castle 12 (Marq. Hooker 5, Marc. Hooker 2, Stone 2, DeMonaco 2, Fulena 1), Ambridge 4 (Lawrence 1, Damballous 1, Thomas 1,
Hilzendeger 1).
JV score: Ambridge 39, New Castle 32. High scorers: NC — Georgie Eggleston 10.
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