Lady ‘Canes roll past young Neshannock
New Castle (79) Vs. Neshannock (50)
Dec 10, 2011
By Joe Sager
New Castle News

The Neshannock High girls basketball team is young and eager to learn.

New Castle was more than happy to teach some lessons.

The Lady ’Canes raced to a 37-point first quarter and posted a 79-50 win last night in the New Castle Tipoff Tournament.

Third-year Lady Lancers coach Luann Grybowski, who won three WPIAL titles during her long tenure coaching New Castle, made her first appearance at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House since she took over Neshannock’s program in the 2009-10 season. She knew it would be a tough test for her young team, which started four freshmen and a junior.

“That’s not who I would have picked to play first, given the perfect situation. But, it ended up that way and we just dealt with it,” she said. “With the inexperience and youth of my team, I knew there was going to be a drastic difference in the speed and the transition early on. It was terrible early, but it didn’t look quite as bad later on. I told them, going in, that there were two things we couldn’t afford to do: We couldn’t afford to turn it over early and give up easy baskets. And, we couldn’t afford not to box out. I think we had 23 turnovers at halftime.

“New Castle played well and that’s years of experience there. They know each other and read each other very well. It’s hard to defend them.”

The Lady ’Canes (1-0), who saw their two-year WPIAL title run stopped last year, return as one of the WPIAL’s top Class AAA teams this season.

“I told our girls that’s where you want to be in three or four years,” Grybowski said. “That’s the difference between reading and reacting and knowing where to go and hitting the open man. We gave up a lot of easy points off turnovers.”

New Castle’s quickness — in addition to its experience — was overwhelming.

“We will not see a team like that all year,” Grybowski said. “There’s not a team like that in Class AA. The best teams in Class AA are Bishop Canevin and Seton-La Salle and they are nowhere near this team.”

Lady ’Canes coach Jason Rankin, who served under Grybowski and succeeded her on the New Castle bench, hopes his team can use its explosiveness this year, especially with a healthy Kaylynn Waters back from a knee injury.

“When we sat down and evaluated our talent, we were a bigger team, especially after we lost Kaylynn last year. We were less of a pressing team and more of a power team. We pounded the glass unmercifully last year,” he said. “This year, we are a quick speed team. We do shoot the ball better from distance when we’re comfortable. You have to adapt to what you’ve got. We definitely have some speed and hustle and we definitely have some players who can finish on the break.”

Waters, who missed 26 games last year, and Christina Talbert led the New Castle charge. Waters scored 16 of her game-high 36 points in the first quarter, while Talbert tallied 10 of her 22 in the frame as the Lady ’Canes had a 37-9 edge.

“Neshannock is young and talented. Luann has a tremendous player in (Madison) McHale. They are going to be good this year,” Rankin said. “But, with the way we play, we forced the tempo and we were able to get some easy baskets. I have two dynamite players out there that can really do some damage.”

New Castle posted a 63-27 halftime edge and the 40-point mercy rule was invoked early in the third.

McHale, a freshman, led the Lady Lancers with 31 points.

“She played an excellent game for us. She doesn’t back down,” Grybowski said. “She has to work a little better on the defensive end and she knows that. But she had a great game for us.”

The Lady ’Canes meet Lake Ridge Academy, a 49-40 winner over Pine-Richland, at 5:30 p.m. today in the title game, while Neshannock meets P-R at 1:30 p.m.

“We have a tough Lake Ridge team and, come Monday, we have a very good North Catholic team,” Rankin said. “We’re happy to be where we are and we’re looking forward to getting out there and having the challenge (today).”
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 37 26 9 7 0 79
Neshannock 9 18 5 18 0 50
Box Scores
Katie Burrelli 0 2-2 2
Marissa DeMatteo 2 0-0 4
Erin Warvell 0 0-0 0
Madison McHale 9 11-13 31
Tayler Grybowski 2 2-2 7
Madison Shaffer 1 0-0 2
Alexandra Fischer 0 2-2 2
Rachel Iorio 1 0-0 2
Madison Jones 0 0-0 0
Totals: 15 17-19 50

Rachael Razzano 1 2-2 4
Dana Perrotta 1 0-0 3
Kelsey Scott 3 0-0 6
Christina Talbert 11 0-0 22
Kaylynn Waters 15 3-7 36
Nakea Fish 2 0-0 4
Darrian Johnson 0 0-0 0
Brandy Stewart 1 2-4 4
Velvet Wade 0 0-0 0
Kennedy Hudson 0 0-0 0
Jasmine Evans 0 0-0 0
Jamay Walker 0 0-0 0
Totals: 34 7-13 79

NESHANNOCK 9 18 5 18 — 50
NEW CASTLE 37 26 9 7 — 79
3-point goals — Neshannock 3 (McHale 2, Grybowski 1); New Castle 4 (Waters 3, Perrotta 1).
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