Eggleston ‘feeling it,' 'Canes roll
New Castle (79) Vs. Hopewell (50)
Jan 11, 2012
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

Corey Eggleston had one request last night.

“Get me the ball,” he said to the New Castle High boys basketball team’s bench during a break in the action in the third quarter.

And Eggleston’s Red Hurricane teammates did just that.

Eggleston poured in a game-high 28 points for New Castle in a 79-50 WPIAL Section 2-AAA win over Hopewell at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

The ’Canes (4-0 section, 11-0 overall) are ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class AAA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and No. 2 in the state poll by the Patriot-News of Harrisburg.

Eggleston, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, recorded 10 points in the third quarter and eight more in the final frame. He was 11 of 23 from the field for the game, with six assists, five rebounds and four steals.

“I was just feeling it,” Eggleston said of his statement in the third quarter. “I just knew I could take my man off the dribble and I knew I could penetrate and dish it to other guys and score.

“I just told the coaches give me the ball and I’ll create.”

Second-year ’Canes coach Ralph Blundo was more than happy to oblige.

“We had a little bit of a mismatch there, and he could sense that,” Blundo said. “He was able to get a lot of dribble penetration. It not only ended up in layups for him, but in layups for Shawn (Anderson), too.”

The determined play from Eggleston came when New Castle needed it the most. Hopewell (1-3, 3-8) trailed 23-5 early in the second quarter and rallied to within 35-28 at the break. The Vikings started the second half on a 4-0 run, before New Castle closed the quarter on a 19-4 run for a 54-36 buffer.

“The credit goes to Hopewell because they played well,” Blundo said. “I’m still disappointed with some of the things we did defensively in the second quarter.

“For me, New Castle basketball is a culture and a mindset. I thought we got beat to loose balls. It was just a lack of focus. It wasn’t new Castle basketball and I take responsibility for that.”

Said Eggleston, “They just never gave up. They’re a good team. If we’re not playing hard, we’re not a very good team at all and coach reminds us of that all the time.”

The ’Canes struggled at the line as well, making just 16 shots in 28 attempts. New Castle came in making 70.1 percent of its free throws on the year.

Hopewell took advantage and missed just one free throw in 13 attempts.

“Nobody really shot it particularly well,” Blundo said. “These guys are good foul shooters and I do understand that can happen.

“I don’t get on kids for missing foul shots. But if I’m concerned the focus isn’t there, that’s a different animal.”

Anderson followed Eggleston’s effort with 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Malik Hooker helped New Castle build its big first-half lead, netting eight of his 15 points in the opening half.

Michael Lindsey paced the Vikings with 12 points.

The ’Canes return to action at 8 p.m. Friday when they travel to section rival Blackhawk. New Castle last beat Blackhawk (3-1, 6-3) on the Cougars’ home floor in January of 2006. The ’Canes did win a game there against Kennedy Catholic in the Blackhawk Christmas Tournament in 2007.

“Blackhawk is really on a roll right now,” Blundo said. “They’re proving why they’re such a great program. They have three good guards that can play and they’re tough to beat down there.”

Cory Ostach, a 6-1 senior guard, is one of those three standout guards for the Cougars. Ostach shared the section’s MVP honor last year with Eggleston.

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 20 15 19 25 0 79
Hopewell 5 23 8 14 0 50
Box Scores
Rushel Shell 2 2-2 6
Nolan Harmotto 1 0-0 2
David Warren 3 5-5 11
Alize Patton 1 0-0 2
Michael Lindsey 4 4-5 12
Steven Dadig 1 0-0 2
Logan Johnston 0 0-0 0
Nathan Bell 5 1-1 11
Zephaniah Kraus 2 0-0 4
Cody McKay 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 19 12-13 50.

Brandon Domenick 2 0-0 5
Corey Eggleston 11 4-6 28
Shawn Anderson 6 4-8 16
Anthony Richards 2 0-1 6
Malik Hooker 5 5-8 15
Antonio Rudolph 0 0-0 0
Jermaine Cuffie 1 0-0 2
Stew Allen 1 0-0 2
Jesse Salzano 1 3-5 5
Drew Allen 0 0-0 0
Levar Ware 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 29 16-28 79.

HOPEWELL 5 23 8 14 — 50
NEW CASTLE 20 15 19 25 — 79

3-point goals — New Castle 5 (Domenick 1, Eggleston 2, Richards 2).
JV score: New Castle 59, Hopewell 30. High scorer: NC — Drew Allen 19, Stew Allen 17, Jesse Salzano 14.

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