New Castle rallies past Beaver
New Castle (84) Vs. Beaver (68)
Jan 28, 2012
New Castle News

BEAVER — Scoring points is not a problem for the New Castle High boys basketball team.

After all, the Red Hurricane leads the WPIAL in offense at 80.1 points per game.

Last night, Beaver found out New Castle has one of the district’s top defenses, too. The ’Canes limited the Bobcats to 26 second-half points in an 84-68 WPIAL Section 2-AAA road triumph.

New Castle (8-0 section, 17-0 overall) was especially stingy in the fourth quarter as it put the clamps on Beaver (6-3, 13-4). The Bobcats mustered only nine points and saw a 59-55 lead evaporate on their home floor.

“We knew coming in that they were playing really well. They haven’t lost since we beat them the first time (Jan. 3),” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. “In the first half, credit them, they shot it great. When we made a mistake defensively, they made us pay. That’s what good basketball teams do. Credit Andy Podbielski because he really got it turned around here. He has his guys playing hard and playing with confidence.

“In the fourth, we guarded better and contested better. I thought our guys competed really hard and got most of those 50/50 balls and that gives you extra possessions,” he continued. “We got exactly what we expected. They are a talented and a well-coached basketball team that is confident and playing well. I am proud of our guys for responding in a hostile environment the way that they did in the second half. We gave up 26 points in the second half and that’s pretty good. I thought they really came together. We weren’t playing well because Beaver is just a good team.”

The ’Canes’ perfect season seemed in danger. They clung to a 19-16 lead at the end of the first and faced their first halftime deficit of the season, 42-37. New Castle regained the lead briefly in the third, but Beaver’s 9-2 run helped fuel the hosts to the 59-55 margin at the buzzer.

Shawn Anderson, who tallied a career-high 35 points, ignited the ’Canes in the fourth. His coast-to-coast layup and 3-pointer put New Castle up for good, 60-59, 1:24 into the final stanza. His second trey capped the team’s 11-2 march for a 66-61 edge with 5:42 to go.

“It felt good, but I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” he said. “We had to bring some energy. We were letting them outplay us. Beaver is a very good team. I think, in the second half, we made a statement. We knew we had to lock down on defense.

“That’s the game you want. We have had so many blowouts that you want a test like that because that’s what we’re going to see in the playoffs. So, it felt good to respond like that,” he continued. “It helps out with your confidence knowing you could be down and bounce back and take the lead and finish it out.”
The ’Canes kept rolling and Beaver’s frustration showed. Antonio Rudolph drove in for a layup and drew a foul. He converted the 3-point play for a 69-63 edge with 4:58 left, but the Bobcats’ Darian Bradley picked up a technical foul on the play. Anthony Richards split a pair of freebies and, on the ensuing possession, Rudolph tickled the twine for a 72-63 lead with 4:49 remaining. That six-point swing was too much for Beaver to overcome and New Castle closed the game with a 12-6 run and was able to chew up valuable time in the final minutes.

“We all wanted to get this one really bad. We just came out in the second half and played defense,” said Rudolph, who had 13 points off the bench. “Our main goal is playing defense. We work on it a lot.”

Richards added 12 points for the ’Canes, while Corey Eggleston had 11. 

Christian Herstine pace Beaver with 26 points, but was limited to nine in the second half.

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 19 18 18 29 0 84
Beaver 16 26 17 9 0 68
Box Scores
Brandon Domenick 2 1-2 6
Corey Eggleston 3 4-6 11
Shawn Anderson 15 3-5 35
Anthony Richards 4 1-2 12
Malik Hooker 3 1-2 7
Antonio Rudolph 6 1-1 13
Jermaine Cuffie 0 0-0 0
Jesse Salzano 0 0-0 0
Drew Allen 0 0-0 0
Totals: 33 11-18 34

Nick Conjeski 2 2-2 7
Darian Bradley 0 4-4 4
Curt Lanctot 1 1-2 3
Christian Herstine 12 0-1 26
Cory Nesmith 6 1-5 13
Austin Logan 3 0-0 7
Aaron Barlow 4 0-0 8
Totals: 28 8-1 68

NEW CASTLE 19 18 18 29 — 84
BEAVER 16 26 17 9 — 68

3-point goals — New Castle 7 (Richards 3, Anderson 2, Domenick 1, Eggleston 1), Beaver 4 (Herstine 2, Conjeski 1, Logan 1).
JV score: New Castle 42, Beaver 32. High scorer: N — Drew Allen 14.
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