Blundo wins 200th; Canes outlast Moon
New Castle (54) Vs. Moon (48)
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
The New Castle High boys basketball team built more momentum heading into the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.
And Red Hurricane coach Ralph Blundo reached a milestone along the way.
Three New Castle players scored in double figures in a 54-48 non-section win over Moon at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House on Monday night.
The win marked the 200th in the coaching career of Ralph Blundo, who is in his seventh season at the helm. Blundo is 200-23 overall, which includes a 26-2 mark in one season on the bench at George Junior Republic.
New Castle won the Section 2-4A title this year, marking the sixth league crown for the program under Blundo's direction.
"I've been fortunate to have good players and excellent young men and a very supportive staff," Blundo said of the milestone. "We have 200 wins together, it's not just me."
The 'Canes (20-2), who have won six straight games, are ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class 4A by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"I like the momentum we have going into the playoffs," Blundo said. "Having some momentum going in is a good thing.
"It was a great win to get and a perfect game to play going into the playoffs against a talented team."
Marcus Hooker paced the 'Canes with game-high totals of 14 points and nine rebounds.
"Marcus is maturing right in front of my eyes," Blundo said. "I'm enjoying watching it as he continues to evolve as a player and a young man."
Geno Stone tossed in 13 tallies with four rebounds and three assists for the winners, while Garrett Farah netted 10 markers with seven assists and four steals.
"I thought we had good balance," Blundo said. "We sustained our effort and we sustained our fight for 32 minutes.
"It was a well-played game for both teams. I think it got us both ready for the playoffs."
Jarod Simons led all scorers with 26 points for the Tigers (17-5), who compete at the WPIAL Class 5A level.
"We really had to pinch in on the post," Blundo said. "Simons is a big kid. We defended him well enough to win the game."
Moon won the battle of the boards, 38-22. However, New Castle forced the Tigers to turn the ball over 24 times, compared to just seven by the hosts.
The WPIAL will release the boys and girls basketball pairings at a meeting Tuesday in Green Tree.