Lady Canes play tough in loss
Mt. Lebanon (54) Vs. New Castle (49)
The New Castle High girls basketball team found a positive in defeat Saturday.

LaShauna Brothers tallied 16 points but it wasn’t enough as the Lady ’Canes dropped a 54-49 decision to Mount Lebanon in the Geneva Shootout.

It was a battle of top-ranked teams. New Castle (12-2) is atop the Class AAA ranks in the WPIAL according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, while the Lady Blue Devils (15-0) are No. 1 in Class AAAA.

It was the closest margin of victory for Mount Lebanon, topping a 48-38 decision over Bethel Park.

“I was really proud of our kids, they played really hard,” Lady ’Canes coach Luann Grybowski said. “The girls battled through a lot of adversity with fouls and they held their composure and played through things.

“They were mad because they felt that they could have beat them. I was encouraged with how we played.”

The matchup was the first between the schools since 2006 when New Castle claimed a 54-43 win in the second round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.

New Castle hurt its chances for victory at the foul line. The Lady ’Canes were 13 of 20 from the stripe, including 4 of 8 in the fourth quarter. They missed the front-end of three one-and-one opportunities in the final period.

“We really had a shot to win,” Grybowski said. “The foul shots hurt us.”

Brothers also pulled down seven rebounds for New Castle. JaNia McPhatter was next with 10 markers and seven boards.

Shelby Rodgers, who hit for a career-high 35 points in a Section 2-AAA win over Ellwood City on Thursday, was held to just seven markers.

Emily Miller paced all scorers with 18 points for the Lady Blue Devils.

Mount Lebanon struggled at the foul line as well, making 10 of 18 attempts, including 5 of 11 in the fourth frame.

New Castle was 16 of 38 from the field, compared to 20 of 44 for the Lady Blue Devils. The Lady ’Canes forced 23 turnovers and committed 15.

New Castle (4-1 section) returns to section action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday when Ambridge visits the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House. The Lady Bridgers (4-1, 8-5) won the first matchup, 58-56. The teams are tied for the section lead.

“I know the kids have been waiting for it,” Grybowski said. “They felt they let one get away down there.

“As young as they are, they don’t know the consequences of losing on the road early in the season and how it could affect you down the road. Now they understand it. They’ll be ready to go.”
Game Scoreboard
Mt. Lebanon 10 14 18 12 0 54
New Castle 8 13 15 13 0 49
Box Scores
Jazelle Dennis 2 2-3 7
Shelby Rodgers 2 1-2 7
LaShauna Brothers 5 6-8 16
JaNia McPhatter 4 2-5 10
Kaylynn Waters 3 2-2 9
Ashley DeHass 0 0-0 0
Christina Talbert 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 16 13-20 49.

Anna Kestler 2 0-1 6
Emily Miller 8 1-1 18
Jesse Babe 3 0-0 7
Chelsea Apke 3 6-6 12
Madison Cable 2 2-4 6
Angele Hagy 1 0-0 2
Lauren Arbogart 1 1-6 3
Jess Wingen 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 20 10-18 54.

NEW CASTLE 8 13 15 13 — 49
MOUNT LEBANON 10 14 18 12 — 54

3-point goals — New Castle 4 (Rodgers 2, Waters 1, Dennis 1), Mount Lebanon 4 (Kestler 2, Miller 1, Babe 1).
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