Unbeaten ’Canes win in rout
New Castle (87) Vs. Ambridge (42)
Jan 18, 2012
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

The dominance continues for the New Castle High boys basketball team.

One decisive second-quarter run was all it took to propel the Red Hurricane to a convincing 87-42 WPIAL Section 2-AAA victory over Ambridge at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House last night.

New Castle (6-0 section, 13-0 overall) broke free from a 14-all tie with 1:59 left in the first quarter on the strength of a 25-0 run. The spurt carried the ’Canes to a 39-14 advantage with 5:03 left in the first half.

“I wasn’t happy with the way they were playing and I let them know that,” said New Castle coach Ralph Blundo on what led to the run. “They know what the standard is. They know the difference, and they don’t need to hear it from me. But they did.

“I want us playing as hard as we can and as fundamentally sound as we possible can.”

The win is the 15th straight in the regular season for New Castle dating back to last season. The ’Canes are ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class AAA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and No. 2 in the state by the Patriot-News of Harrisburg.

“Our entire focus right now is these guys want too much to be complacent,” Blundo said. “They see the opportunity that’s ahead of them. Am I concerned with complacency with these guys? Not at all.”

Senior standout Corey Eggleston led the ’Canes with 18 points, while handing out seven assists with four rebounds and four steals. He was 6 of 10 from the field.

“I think I played fundamentally sound,” Eggleston said. “I had a few turnovers which were my fault.

“I tried to get after it on the defensive end and get us buckets at the other end.”

Eggleston and junior swingman Shawn Anderson are being counted on to keep the team focused as the push for the playoffs continues.

“Coach just wants me to lead by example and that’s what I try to do,” Eggleston said. “He tells us complacency is devastating. He told us before the first game of the season. We still go by that motto and that’s what makes us get after it at practice.”

Said Anderson, “Coach makes sure to remind us we’re not great yet. We haven’t won anything to say we’re great. We understand how not to become complacent.”

To this point, one of the few flaws New Castle may have is building big leads and watching the opponent climb back in. Hopewell trailed 23-5 last week before closing to 35-28. Last night, the ’Canes were up 12-4 before the Bridgers forged a 14-all deadlock.

“We’ve been here before. We have to mature and we have to take that next step,” Anderson said. “We want to be great. We want to be champions.

“We need to mature in the sense of not letting teams back in the game and we’ve been getting better at it.”

Malik Hooker followed Eggleston’s effort with 10 points, six rebounds and four steals, while Brandon Domenick and Drew Allen added nine points apiece.

Anderson, Antonio Rudolph and Jermaine Cuffie followed with eight markers each.

Malik Walker tossed in a game-high 21 points for the Bridgers (1-5, 4-10), including 10 in the first quarter.

Former Ellwood City Lincoln boys basketball coach Jason Bumblis is an assistant coach for Ambridge, directed by Joe Falletta. Falletta is a former North Hills and Hopewell head coach.

A moment of silence was held prior to the game for former New Castle football coach Lindy Lauro, who died last Thursday.

“When I addressed the team before the game, I told them that we talked so much about blue collar and toughness,” Blundo said. “Lindy was driving those things home long before I was ever thought of.

“I think the one thing that I’m proud of is these young men do embody the philosophy of Lindy and I’m proud of them for that. Lindy was before their time, but they know who he is.”

New Castle returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it hosts West Allegheny.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 23 26 24 14 0 87
Ambridge 14 8 9 11 0 42
Box Scores
Brandon Hoo 3 0-0 7
Kody Nichi 0 0-0 0
Will Stanley 2 0-0 5
Malik Walker 9 3-4 21
Jordan Sweigart 0 0-0 0
Keenan Baker 0 0-0 0
Stephon McGinnis 3 0-0 8
Daylon Carter 0 1-2 1
Trewan Marshall 0 0-0 0
Caleb Roderick 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 17 4-6 42.

Brandon Domenick 3 1-2 9
Corey Eggleston 6 5-7 18
Shawn Anderson 4 0-2 8
Anthony Richards 2 0-0 5
Malik Hooker 4 2-3 10
Antonio Rudolph 4 0-0 8
Jermaine Cuffie 4 0-0 8
Stew Allen 2 1-2 5
Jesse Salzano 1 0-0 3
Drew Allen 4 0-0 9
Levar Ware 0 0-0 0
Paul Jones 2 0-0 4.
Totals: 36 9-16 87.

AMBRIDGE 14 8 9 11 — 42
NEW CASTLE 23 26 24 14 — 87

3-point goals — Ambridge 4 (Hoo 1, Stanley 1, McGinnis 2), New Castle 6 (Domenick 2, Eggleston 1, Richards 1, Salzano 1, D. Allen 1).
JV score: New Castle 63, Ambridge 50. High scorer: NC — Stew Allen 18, Jesse Salzano 16, Drew Allen 14.

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