’Canes stand tall against Seneca
New Castle (69) Vs. Seneca Valley (58)
Dec 21, 2011
By Joe Sager
New Castle News

The New Castle High boys basketball team proved it can play big even though it’s not.

Instead, the Red Hurricane used its recipe of hustle, determination and quickness last night to hold off Seneca Valley, 69-58, in a nonsection home battle.

The towering Raiders, who boasted a 6-foot-4 average starting lineup, had the clear height advantage over New Castle. Yet, the ’Canes’ intensity made up for it.

“That’s a good basketball team we played — a real good Quad-A team,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. “Their overall size was a huge concern coming in. They had us by as many as four or five inches at every single position and I thought my guys played harder and a little bit tougher. What that tells you is that can make up for any size differential.”

New Castle’s players were looking forward to the test against the Raiders.

“It was a solid win,” senior guard Corey Eggleston said. “They are a very big team and we are undersized. I am glad that we fought hard and played hard throughout the game and we were fundamentally sound on defense. Coach just said we had to dig in on defense and we can’t miss one box out on defense. We just went by that and we knew we had to fight hard to win this one.”

Despite the height disadvantage, the ’Canes (5-0) won the rebounding battle, 37-25. New Castle was especially dominant on the glass early in the game.

“It was a big-time win,” junior forward Shawn Anderson said. “We prepared all week to go hard because we knew they’d be big and we just went out and played hard.”

The ’Canes needed to ramp up their intensity, too, because Eggleston (sprained ankle) and Anderson (flu) were not 100 percent. Nevertheless, the two responded. Anderson scored 22 points and added 10 rebounds, while Eggleston had 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

“My guys gutted it out,” Blundo said. “Corey didn’t practice Monday. Shawn Anderson has the flu bug. Both of those guys came out and played well. It’s pretty impressive. That’s what you like — you want your guys to play well under adverse conditions. I am happy where we are now because it truly is a team. We have guys at every position doing their job when they are called upon. That’s how you win games.”

New Castle overwhelmed Seneca Valley (2-3) in the first quarter. The ’Canes stormed to an 8-0 lead and held a 19-9 advantage at the buzzer. New Castle increased its buffer to 34-17 at halftime.

Blundo’s troops pushed their lead as high as 20 points, 48-28, in the third quarter before settling for a 48-31 edge. The Raiders made a late push, but the ’Canes held them off for the 11-point triumph.

Anthony Richards added 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Malik Hooker had 11 rebounds and six points. Brandon Domenick had six points and five assists.

“We were hyped. Brandon, Anthony and Malik, they were ready to pick it up a little bit because Corey hurt his ankle and I had the flu,” Anderson said. “Everyone was just ready to play.”

Matt Smith led Seneca Valley with 17 points.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 19 15 14 21 0 69
Seneca Valley 9 8 14 27 0 58
Box Scores
Matt Smith 6 3-6 17
Easton Ba 2 0-0 4
Chad Albert 6 1-3 15
Alex Maxfield 2 0-0 4
Austin Bream 3 0-0 6
R.J., McCauley 2 1-2 5
Matt Darby 1 1-1 3
Oliver Philogene 1 0-0 2
Eric Woods 1 0-0 2
T.J. Holl 1 0-0 2.
Totals: 25 6-10 58.

Brandon Domenick 2 1-2 6
Corey Eggleston 10 0-1 21
Shawn Anderson 8 6-6 22
Anthony Richards 3 2-2 10
Malik Hooker 3 0-3 6
Antonio Rudolph 0 2-2 2
Jermaine Cuffie 1 0-0 2
Jesse Salzano 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 27 11-16 69.

SENECA VALLEY 9 8 14 27 — 58
NEW CASTLE 19 15 14 21 — 69

3-point goals — Seneca Valley 2 (Smith 2), New Castle 4 (Richards 2, Domenick 1, Eggleston 1).
JV score: New Castle 52, Seneca Valley 38. High scorer: N — Jesse Salzano 15.

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