Setting the ’Tone: ’Canes slam Blackhawk
New Castle (78) Vs. Blackhawk (46)
Jan 14, 2012
By Joe Simon
New Castle News

BEAVER FALLS — Hustle, grit and intensity were the essential components that set up another rout by the New Castle High basketball team.

The exclamation point? That was reserved for Antonio Rudolph, with some help from Shawn Anderson.

Rudolph’s thunderous dunk on a no-look pass from Anderson woke up anyone who might have dozed off during the Red Hurricane’s 78-46 WPIAL Section 2-AAA shellacking of Blackhawk on the road last night.

New Castle (5-0 section, 12-0 overall) came out playing tenacious defense and was energized on both sides of the ball — the second straight week the ’Canes accomplished that on the road. They didn’t let up in the second half, building an insurmountable 27-point lead.

But winning wasn’t enough. New Castle had to do it in style.

Enter Rudolph, a 5-foot-11 junior guard who said he’s been dunking since he was 12 years old.

“His explosion is unbelievable,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. “It’s like no one I’ve ever coached. It’s scary.”

The play started when Anderson stole the ball to begin a breakaway. He noticed Rudolph trailing on the play and made a no-look pass to Rudolph, or ‘Tone’ as he’s known by his friends, who was a step away from the basket. Rudolph elevated as soon as he touched the ball and slammed home a one-handed dunk right in the face of a Blackhawk defender, who fouled Rudolph on the play.

“I kind of knew it was coming because Shawn was in trouble,” said Rudolph, who made the free throw to cap the three-point play. “He looked back, and when it got to me, I just threw it down.”

Rudolph smirked a bit as he ran back down the court, and he probably could have celebrated his dunk a little more if he wanted to because the ’Canes were cruising, but that’s not the New Castle way.

No, its style involves in-your-face defense, movement on offense and hustle from beginning to end. All of it was on display against Blackhawk (3-2, 6-4). The ’Canes forced 26 turnovers (14 in the first quarter, when they took a 26-12 lead) and committed just nine of their own.

The effort and defensive intensity was nonstop, which made it easy for Blundo to overlook the fact that New Castle missed numerous layups and looked sloppy on offense at times.

“You can survive that when you create extra possessions with turnovers and getting offensive rebounds,” Blundo said. “When good athletes like this play hard, they can take you to the next level.”

Anderson was a big reason the ’Canes reached that level. He scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, snatched five steals and handed out six assists — none nicer than the pass to Rudolph.

Corey Eggleston added 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and Malik Hooker contributed 13 points, 14 rebounds and six steals. New Castle had 23 pilfers total.

Six different players scored in the first quarter, and the rout was on when New Castle quickly stretched its 40-25 halftime lead to more than 20 points in the third quarter.

“A lot of teams, when you label them, there’s athletic teams and then there’s more of a fundamental team,” Blackhawk coach Andy Hedrick said. “(New Castle) is athletic and fundamental. They’re a just a very good, well-rounded basketball team.”

(Email: j_simon@ncnewsonline.com)
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
New Castle 26 14 21 17 0 78
Blackhawk 12 13 7 14 0 46
Box Scores
NEW CASTLE (78)
Brandon Domenick 3 0-0 8
Corey Eggleston 7 2-5 17
Shawn Anderson 9 1-3 21
Anthony Richards 2 0-0 6
Malik Hooker 6 1-1 13
Antonio Rudolph 1 3-3 5
Jermaine Cuffie 0 0-0 0
Stew Allen 1 0-0 2
Jesse Salzano 1 0-0 2
Drew Allen 2 0-0 4
Totals: 32 7-12

BLACKHAWK (46)
Brian Alviani 2 0-0 5
Cory Ostach 6 0-0 12
Chase Migliore 0 0-0 0
Josh Desmond 5 0-1 10
Nick Martin 5 5-8 15
Brendan McKay 1 1-2 3
Logan Frye 0 0-0 0
Andrew Podabielski 0 1-2 1
Totals: 19 7-13

NEW CASTLE 26 14 21 17 — 78
BLACKHAWK 12 13 7 14 — 46

3-point goals — New Castle 7 (Anderson 2, Domenick 2, Richards 2, Eggleston 1), Blackhawk 1 (Alviani 1).
JV score: New Castle 40, Blackhawk 29. High scorer: NC — Drew Allen 17.
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