Lady ’Canes, Seneca Valley think pink
Jan 21, 2011

The New Castle and Seneca Valley girls basketball teams will be thinking pink Monday.

The teams are scheduled for a nonsection matchup at 7:30 p.m. at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House. It’s billed as the Par for the Cure Pink-Out Game, which was organized last year by Kara Joseph, who is in her first season as an assistant coach for the Lady ’Canes. The game will raise funds for breast cancer research.

Last year, New Castle lost to Hopewell in the Par for the Cure Pink-Out Game at home against WPIAL Section 2-AAA rival Hopewell, 64-62.

“We’re going to wear the same uniforms as last year,” Joseph said. “Seneca Valley will be wearing pink uniforms, too.

“I think it’s probably around the same excitement this year as it was last year. Last year, the girls didn’t understand things quite as much. But me being around all the time now, they understand it better.”

Seneca Valley (5-8), which competes in Class AAAA, is coached by 1990 New Castle High graduate Rob Lombardo. Former Shenango girls coach Joe Gierlach is an assistant coach for the Lady Raiders.

“Robbie and Joe contacted us and they wanted to play in that game,” Joseph said. “They are raising a bunch of money and we’re doing the same.

“Everyone is excited. It’s for a good cause and coaching this year makes it even more exciting for me.”

Joseph said there is about 10 more sponsors this year for the game, which was started in memory of Kara Joseph’s late aunt, Kathy Staph. She said 600 free T-shirts will be given away to fans and the teams hope to play with a pink ball, with the referees using pink whistles.

“As far as the teams go, it’s a nonsection game and that kind of tempered it down a little bit,” Lady ’Canes coach Jason Rankin said of this year’s game. “Kara and her father (Dennis) have made it a little bigger because of sponsoring and it’s still a big deal.

“I’m really excited. You represent more than just yourself. You represent your family and community. This community is aware of this disease and they are all concerned. So many of us have had loved ones stricken with the disease. This game is a very good thing.”

Rankin said last year’s game attracted about 2,000 fans for the game against Hopewell.

“With Robbie (Lombardo) and his team coming makes this year’s game special,” Rankin said. “This gives it more of a family-type atmosphere and that’s important. We’re hoping to have a great crowd.”
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