New Castle rolls to easy win over Hopewell
New Castle (78) Vs. Hopewell (37)
HOPEWELL — The New Castle High boys basketball team took care of business Tuesday night and got a little bit of help along the way.
Gino DeMonaco poured in a game-high 27 points to lead the Red Hurricane to a 78-37 WPIAL Section 2-4A road win over Hopewell.
DeMonaco was 10 of 13 from the field, including 5 of 7 from behind the arc. He added four rebounds and three steals as well.
“Gino really hustled in transition,” said seventh-year coach Ralph Blundo. “He made some shots and he played hard.”
New Castle (10-1 section, 16-2 overall) is ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL in Class 4A by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The ‘Canes reclaimed sole possession of first place when Quaker Valley (9-2, 16-2) dropped a 77-66 section decision to visiting Beaver Falls (6-5, 9-7).
“Throw the records out the window at this stage of the season,” Blundo said. “Once that familiarity sets in, it’s difficult.”
The ‘Canes and Quakers each have three league games left.
New Castle led 20-11 after one quarter, but outscored the Vikings (0-11, 3-15) 20-6 in the second stanza to forge a 40-17 halftime advantage.
Hopewell turned the ball over 25 times in the contest, compared to just five for the ‘Canes.
“We had better energy in the second quarter,” Blundo said. “Marcus (Hooker) played really well in the second quarter.”
New Castle was 32 of 61 from the field, including 10 of 21 from behind the arc.
“I think it was important,” Blundo said of his team shooting it well from the perimeter. “I don’t think we have been shooting it well from out there lately.”
Te’Quawn Stewart, who broke his nose in a 62-51 win over Beaver on Jan. 13, returned to the lineup against Hopewell. Stewart had surgery on Jan. 23 and missed two games. He netted four points against the Vikings.
“He’s wearing the mask; it’s a little debilitating,” Blundo said of Stewart. “We really weren’t sure when he would come back.
“It’s good to have him back. One thing he does well is he’s always where he’s supposed to be at on the court.”
Anthony Bailey tossed in 12 tallies for the ‘Canes and Hooker added 10.
Josh Miklos and Tyler Sabo netted eight points each to lead Hopewell.
New Castle returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it travels to section foe Ambridge.