Ellwood City girls rally to knock off New Castle
New Castle (40) Vs. Ellwood City (48)
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

The New Castle and Ellwood City Lincoln high girls basketball teams came in Monday night needing a victory.

The squads were closing out the first half of section play and the winner would remain one game behind Central Valley for the fourth and final playoff berth out of WPIAL Section 2-AAA play.

The Lady Wolverines were able to regroup from a slow start and capture a 48-40 win at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House. It's their third straight win.

Ellwood City (3-4 section, 5-8 overall) trailed 11-4 after the first quarter and cut the deficit to 19-17 at the break. The Lady Wolverines finally took the lead at 27-25 after three periods.

"They played us man the whole game. I was shocked," Ellwood City coach Jolene Krupa said. "We thought they would come out in a 2-3 (zone).

"We were practicing zones and I don't think we were ready for the man."

But once the Lady Wolverines got acclimated to the defense, they were able to settle in.

"We're still missing some easy shots that need to go in," Krupa said. "We'll work on it in practice. We took very good shots and we were very patient."

Said first-year New Castle coach Maria Joseph, "I thought both teams played tough. We needed to play a little bit better. The middle two quarters we couldn't get the ball in the hoop. We just have to be consistent for four quarters.

"We're playing one or two quarters like I know we know how. It's about being consistent. It's going to take time, but we're right there. Once we get over the hump, we'll be fine. I have faith in us."

Ellwood City made the playoffs last season for the first time since the 1997-98 season. Krupa told her team prior to the start how important the tilt with the Lady 'Canes (2-5, 3-10) would be in a quest for a return trip to the postseason.

"I told the girls going in this was a big game," she said. "They know four (teams) gets you in.

"This was definitely a must win. It feels good to have three wins in a row.

"We had to get all of these last three wins and we accomplished what we had to do."

Karington Ketterer collected team-high totals of 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Ellwood City. Isabella Roth was next with 13 tallies and four steals.

Kayla Harvey registered team-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady 'Canes. Harvey picked up two quick fouls in the opening quarter and sat a bit in the second quarter, but she was able to avoid any further foul trouble.

"I keep telling her I want her to stay out of foul trouble. We're trying to work on that and she's listening," Joseph said. "There's still a couple of things we want to work on. But she's playing hard and consistent."

Ellwood City looks to even the score with Central Valley on Jan. 18 on the Lady Warriors home floor. The matchup is pivotal for the Lady Wolverines, especially if the squads finish in a deadlock for fourth place.

"We have to go down there and beat them down there," Krupa said. "I told the girls if we can pick up a win against one of the top three schools, we won't have to share anything like we did last year when we shared fourth place."

(Email: rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 11 8 6 15 0 40
Ellwood City 4 13 10 21 0 48
Box Scores
Isabella Roth 2 9-14 13
Paige Mason 1 1-1 3
Karington Ketterer 3 8-13 14
Natalia Greco 1 1-2 3
Allie McKelvey 2 1-6 5
Emily Brown 2 4-6 8
Cortni Prine 1 0-0 2
Totals: 12 24-42 48

Olivia Valenti 1 0-0 3
Tanai Brothers 4 1-1 9
Lindsay Frabotta 2 2-4 6
Skylar Duffee 0 0-0 0
Abba Frengel 0 0-0 0
Kayla Harvey 6 5-9 18
Jaidyn Eggleston 0 0-0 0
Mariah Shepherd 2 0-0 4
Totals: 15 8-14 40

ELLWOOD CITY 4 13 10 21 — 48
NEW CASTLE 11 8 6 15 — 40

3-point goals — New Castle (Valenti 1, Harvey 1).
JV score: No game.
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