Lady ’Canes rally from big deficit to top North Al
New Castle (47) Vs. North Allegheny (45)
Dec 21, 2007

WEXFORD — For the first three quarters last night, the New Castle girls were not in the game.

And then suddenly, the Lady ’Canes awoke.

New Castle erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to rally for 47-45 victory against North Allegheny in a WPIAL Section 3-AAAA contest.

“I think this was good for two reasons,” New Castle coach Luann Grybowski said. “They know now they can’t put it on cruise control and just coast.
“They also need to play the way they are capable of playing. It showed me a lot about their character because we dug down deep and played hard.”

The Lady ’Canes (5-0 section, 7-0 overall) are ranked No. 1 in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette poll and No. 4 in the USA Today East Region poll. They trailed 42-29 after three quarters.

“I told the girls all those rankings, you don’t deserve any of them,” Grybowski said. “Not one of them.

“(North Allegheny was) playing like we want to play, aggressive and physical. I told my players they left, they went on vacation, that’s why we were trailing.”

New Castle turned up the defensive pressure to open the final stanza, using a press and traps. It worked effectively as the Lady ’Canes forced nine Lady Tigers turnovers in the fourth frame.

“Without scoring, you can’t press,” Grybowski said. “I think we did a great job in the fourth quarter.”

Shelby Rodgers got New Castle started in the fourth with a field goal with 6:46 remaining for a 42-31 deficit. Consecutive 3-pointers by Tasia Wise and Abby Allen got the Lady ’Canes to within 42-37 with 3:48 left.

North Allegheny burned its final timeout with 3:36 left and it would prove costly as New Castle still had four left. Jackie Lang turned the ball over because of the intense pressure with 2:42 left.

“I definitely felt we had the advantage because they were out of timeouts,” Grybowski said. “We were going to trap hard regardless.

“They couldn’t call timeout out of the trap no matter how much pressure they were in.”

Wise made four foul shots in a 17-second span to cut the deficit to 42-41 with 2:10 to go.

Ginny Thistle broke the Lady Tigers’ scoreless drought by splitting a pair of foul shots for a 43-41 buffer with 1:49 left. Rodgers answered with a 3-pointer for the Lady ’Canes with 1:08 to play and their first lead since 18-17 in the second quarter.

However, Julie Figan countered with 50 seconds remaining for a 45-44 advantage.

“I felt we weren’t playing as a team,” Wise said. “I thought our defense could be a lot better. I wanted our defense to step up and it did.”

That’s when Wise came through in the clutch yet again. Wise buried a field goal with 32 seconds to play to give New Castle the lead for good at 46-45. The Lady Tigers missed two shots inside that could have tied it and committed two other turnovers, the last coming with seven-tenths of a second to play.

Wise tallied a game-high 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting with 11 rebounds. Rodgers contributed eight markers and three boards.

“This is one of those big wins that mean something big for the team,” Wise said.

Figan netted a team-high 20 points for North Allegheny, 17 of which came in the third quarter. The Lady Tigers increased a 20-18 halftime advantage to 42-29 behind Figan’s strong play.

“We tried to go to the trap early in the third quarter but they just annihilated us hitting 3s,” Grybowski said. “We weren’t aggressive enough to the ball. Everything we did in the last seven minutes, we didn’t do in the third quarter.”

New Castle was just 11 of 48 from the field through three quarters and 16 of 66 for the game.

“There was like there was a lid on the basket,” Grybowski said. “We couldn’t make anything.”

The Lady ’Canes started strong, opening a 9-2 lead and 12-5 after one period. But North Allegheny fought back, outscoring the visitors 13-6 in the second stanza.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 47 0 0 0 0 47
North Allegheny 45 0 0 0 0 45
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
New Castle
#0 Shelby Rodgers300280
#11 Abby Allen242170
#22 Logan Hartman100020
#23 Tasia Wise8663250
#44 Nikki Wise100020
#31 Jazelle Dennis000000
#24 JaVonna Moss000000
#30 Alyssa Slade000000
#32 JaNia McPhatter100130
#33 Lynette Fish000000
#43 LaShauna Brothers000000
North Allegheny
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