Eggleston reaches milestone for ’Canes in win
New Castle (78) Vs. West Allegheny (67)
Dec 17, 2011
By Joe Simon
New Castle News

IMPERIAL — It was as if nothing happened.

New Castle High’s Corey Eggleston went in for a layup and immediately ran back on defense. There was no celebration, no high five or fist pump. He simply got ready to play defense.

Normally, that wouldn’t be odd behavior for a basket early in the second quarter of an important section matchup with West Allegheny. But Eggleston had just reached a landmark achievement, scoring the 1,000th point of his high school career.

Eggleston really didn’t care.

“We weren’t up by a lot of points, so I was trying to focus on the game,” he said. “I was worried about that before any milestone for me.”

It’s that type of team-first attitude that helped New Castle rally from an early deficit and cruise past the Indians, 78-67, last night in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA clash at West Allegheny High School.

Eggleston, who entered the game eight points shy of 1,000, scored 25 and was a menace during a dominating second quarter for the Red Hurricane (1-0 section, 4-0 overall). New Castle trailed, 21-19, entering the second frame, but went on a 10-0 run to start the quarter. Eggleston’s 1,000th point started the spurt, but the feat didn’t alter his focus. He went on to score 14 in the quarter.

Such an accomplishment isn’t of much significance to Eggleston. He and the ’Canes have more important things to worry about.

“I kind of knew from the beginning of the year what I was leading into, but I really wasn’t worried about it ’cause I know what our goal is for the year, and that’s to win the WPIAL,” he said. “It’s not for me to score 1,000 points or me scoring a bunch of points a game. It’s about our team winning, so I really wasn’t too hype about it.”

That may have been because West Allegheny (0-1, 2-2) wasn’t going away.

The Indians cut the lead to six midway through the third quarter and were gaining momentum. Their surge came to a halt as the period neared the final minutes though, with the ’Canes closing out the quarter on an 8-0 run that deflated any hopes of a West Allegheny comeback.

“We just guarded better during that stretch and we were able to turn some offense into defense,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. “You need that when you go into a game favored. Teams want to keep it close going into the fourth, and that gives them a chance, hoping that maybe we tighten up a little bit and they can continue to ride that emotion. But fortunately we were able to stretch it out at the end of the third quarter and just kind of hang on in the fourth.”

The ’Canes’ lead swelled to 20, and while West Allegheny moved within 12, Shawn Anderson, who scored a game-high 27, made sure the Indians didn’t inch any closer. He scored five quick points, including a three-point play in which he was fouled and made the free throw, to push the lead to 15.

Brandon Domenick was a bit off from 3-point land, but he dished out a game-high 13 assists, and Anthony Richards poured in 10 points, including two 3s.

But it was Eggleston’s night, no matter how hard he tried to divert the attention. His quickness to the rim, consistent 3-point shot and all-around game (seven rebounds and three assists) were critical to the victory. And while the game wasn’t stopped and an announcement wasn’t made, Eggleston, who became the 10th male in school history to score 1,000 points, received all the credit he wanted.

“Shawn looked over to me and gave me a thumbs up, and so did the rest of my teammates, so I knew that I got it,” said Eggleston, who actually surpassed Desmond Whetzel (1,016 career points) on New Castle’s all-time scoring list during the game, reaching 1,017. “Shawn was talking about how he was going to tackle me, and I definitely didn’t want that, especially with the predicament we were in during the game.

“But that (thumbs up) meant a lot to me because most of the players on the team — Shawn is my cousin, Brandon and Anthony I grew up with — we’ve been playing since we were in sixth grade. Malik (Hooker) and Tone (Antonio Rudolph), we’ve all became close friends now that we’ve been playing together for two or three years, so it meant a lot to know that they cared about what I did. That’s why I love my team so much.”

Nightly Roundup
Dec 17, 2011 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 19 24 18 17 0 78
West Allegheny 21 13 13 20 0 67
Box Scores
Brandon Domenick 1 2-2 5
Corey Eggleston 11 1-6 25
Shawn Anderson 13 1-1 27
Anthony Richards 4 0-0 10
Malik Hooker 1 0-0 3
Antonio Rudolph 4 0-0 8
Stew Allen 0 0-0 0
Totals: 34 4-9 78

Andrew Nicholson 1 0-0 2
Dylan Bongiorni 5 6-6 18
Michael Miara 5 0-0 13
Collin Charlebois 8 4-4 21
Andrew Koester 4 3-6 11
Garrett Browning 1 0-0 2
Anthony Hartzog 0 0-0 0
Totals: 24 13-16 67

NEW CASTLE 19 24 18 17 — 78
W. ALLEGHENY 21 13 13 20 — 67

3-point goals — 6 (Domenick 1, Eggleston 2, Richards 2, Hooker 1), West Allegheny 6 (Bongiorni 2, Miara 3, Charlebois 1).
JV score: New Castle 35, West Allegheny 28. High scorer: NC — Jesse Salzano 10.
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