New Castle boys pull away for win
New Castle (61) Vs. Blackhawk (44)
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
The New Castle High boys basketball team took charge in the fourth quarter Tuesday night.
The Red Hurricane outscored Blackhawk by 11 points in the final frame en route to a WPIAL Section 2-4A 61-44 road win.
New Castle (3-0 section, 7-1 overall) led 46-40 heading to the fourth quarter.
“I thought we were really good defensively, but we weren’t very good defensively in the third quarter,” said seventh-year ‘Canes coach Ralph Blundo. “The last six years we’ve been really good in the third quarter. This year, not very much.
“I need to do a better job at halftime. But I thought we were really good defensively in the fourth quarter.”
New Castle led 32-18 at the break. The Cougars (2-1, 4-5) rallied and got as close as four points in the fourth period.
But Geno Stone buried a 3-pointer to push the lead back to seven points and the ‘Canes never looked back.
“That was a big 3 by Geno,” Blundo said. “We got a couple of stops and finishes, then we stretched it to 12.
“Blackhawk worked really hard to get back in the game. This was one game we had to have. Blackhawk is a good basketball team. They’ve demonstrated that by beating good teams. It was more than a big win, it was a huge win.”
Stone and Marcus Hooker netted a team-high 13 points apiece for New Castle. Gino DeMonaco and Lorenzo Gardner added 11 tallies each.
“I thought we were very balanced tonight,” Blundo said. “Stone and Hooker did some good things for us throughout the course of the game. As a whole, it was a team effort.”
Hooker recorded a team-high 11 rebounds, while Stone and Garrett Farah added five each. Farah handed out five assists. Hooker, Stone and DeMonaco all recorded four assists apiece.
Dustin Merry notched a game-best 15 points for the Cougars.
The ‘Canes were 23 of 43 from the field compared to 19 of 38 for Blackhawk.
New Castle returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it hosts Hopewell in a section matchup.
“We’ll go to work immediately and be ready for Friday,” Blundo said.