Free-throw struggles plague New Castle in loss
New Castle (64) Vs. Perry Traditional (73)

Foul shooting was a killer last season for the New Castle High boys basketball team.

So far this year, it looks like more of the same.

The Red Hurricane missed 10 of its 14 free-throw attempts in dropping a 73-64 contest to Perry Traditional Academy in the opening round of the New Castle Tipoff Tournament at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

“We have to step up and make free throws,” second-year ’Canes coach Mark Stanley said. “We talk about it all the time and we talk about it until we’re blue in the face.

“If you want to be a top team, you have to make those foul shots; it might make the difference in the game.”

New Castle shot 60 percent from the foul line last year.
The Commodores struggled from the stripe as well, sinking 14 of 29 freebies. They did make 7 of 11 in the final frame.

“We’re traditionally mediocre at the line, kind of Memphis-like,” Perry Traditional Academy coach Marco Corona said referring to Memphis’ struggles in the NCAA Tournament last year. “We had a little talk at halftime and I think the kids really got focused.”

The ’Canes will meet Farrell, a 78-51 loser to Altoona, at 3:30 p.m. today in the consolation game. The Commodores will tangle with the Mountain Lions in the championship at 7:30 p.m.

“You want to win your own tournament,” Stanley said. “I’m pleased with the effort.

“We’re not playing any easy teams in this tournament. These are all good teams and we will have to learn from it.”

New Castle’s woes were evident in the second half in an 0 for 5 effort at the charity stripe.

The ’Canes trailed 52-44 early in the fourth quarter before mounting a rally. New Castle closed to 62-60 on a bucket by Tonio Fulena.

However, the Commodores took control when Greg McGhee committed a steal and drove in for an uncontested layup with 2:30 to go. McGhee gave Perry Traditional Academy when he hit a basket with 1:38 to play.
“They were running and jumping at us pretty well in the second half,” Stanley said. “That made things difficult on us down the stretch.”
New Castle looked sharp early, racing to a 7-0 lead and maintaining a 21-17 after the first frame.

The ’Canes led the entire first half with the exception of a brief 10-second lead for Perry Traditional Academy in the waning stages of the opening half. Tyrone Steals converted a three-point play with 10 seconds left in the half to give the ’Canes a 33-31 halftime buffer.
“We got open looks in the first half,” Stanley said. “You find the open man and you have to move the basketball which we didn’t do in the second half; we’ll work on it.”

The Commodores took the lead for good in the third quarter on a William Ralston field goal with 1:30 left for a 45-44 lead.

Steals led all scorers with 23 points. Fulena was next with 15.

“He’s got to play better for us,” Stanley said of Steals. “He can play harder; he’s our leader and he gets to the hoop for us.”

Said Corona, “He’s a great player, a hard-nosed kid. We knew he was the one we’d have to contend with. We geared our preparations toward him; he’s tough to stop and he was tonight, too.”

Raymont Tench paced Perry Traditional Academy with 20 points, 16 of which came in the first half.
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 21 12 11 20 0 64
Perry Traditional Academy 17 14 19 23 0 73
Box Scores
PERRY (73)
Raymont Tench 8 1-3 20,
Greg McGhee 3 4-7 10,
Daryl Harrington 4 1-1 9,
Andrew Forse 3 2-2 8,
Vaughn Morgan 2 3-12 7,
Devin McCoy 3 3-4 10,
Titus Morris 0 0-0 0,
William Ralston 2 0-0 5,
James Bulls 2 0-0 4.
Totals: 27 14-29 73.

Tyrone Steals 10 1-3 23,
Michael Bongivengo 1 0-0 2,
Nick Klein 3 0-0 7,
Stephen Richardson 0 0-0 0,
Tonio Fulena 6 2-5 15,
Rodney Parchman 3 1-3 7,
Corey Eggleston 4 0-0 8,
Jordan Gentsy 1 0-0 2,
Jajuan Jay 0 0-1 0,
Ta’shan Jones 0 0-2 0.
Totals: 28 4-14 64.

PERRY 17 14 19 23 — 73
NEW CASTLE 21 12 11 20 — 64

3-point goals —
Perry 5 (Tench 3, McCoy 1, Ralston 1),
New Castle 4 (Steals 2, Klein 1, Fulena 1).
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