Lady ’Canes snap five-game losing streak
New Castle (51) Vs. Ambridge (43)
Feb 11, 2012
New Castle News

AMBRIDGE — One streak ended, but another may have continued last night for the New Castle High girls basketball team.

The Lady ’Canes snapped their five-game losing streak with a 51-43 triumph to close WPIAL Section 2-AAA action.

However, the team’s mood wasn’t overly celebratory because Christina Talbert sustained a right knee injury in the second quarter and did not return. Away from the ball, Talbert’s knee buckled and she hit the floor with 3:57 left in the first half. She was able to head to the locker room under her own power.

“The doctor said on a scale of 1-10, her pain was a 5. But, she was having trouble supporting herself,” New Castle coach Jason Rankin said. “We had already clinched third place and my ego is not so big that I am not going to put somebody in harm’s way to win a basketball game. So, we just figured we’d sit her out. I hope she can play (Monday) because it’s her last home game.”

The extent of Talbert’s injury was not known immediately after the game, though she was walking around with little trouble. Already, New Castle (8-4 section, 12-8 overall), which wraps up its regular-season slate Monday at home against Butler, has lost one of its top players in Kaylynn Waters, who tore her right anterior cruciate ligament last month.

“I think this win is another step in the right direction. Hopefully, we can get Christina back healthy for the playoffs,” New Castle junior Rachael Razzano said. “If not, we’re just going to have to keep going and pick each other up.”

Ambridge (2-10, 5-16) posted a 24-20 halftime lead. However, New Castle was able to shake off Talbert’s loss and rally in the third period to post a 35-33 edge at the buzzer.

“I told them after the game, let’s face it — after what happened to Kaylynn, to see Christina go down takes the wind out of your sails. That’s only natural,” Rankin said. “For us to recover and come out and play like we did, I give them a lot of credit.”

The Lady ’Canes got their outside shooting going in the third quarter against Ambridge’s zone defense. Darrian Johnson swished a pair of 3-pointers, while Dana Perrotta and Razzano both connected from long range. Kelsey Scott’s inside bucket and free throw accounted for the team’s other points in the frame.

“Darrian, Rachael and Dana are all good shooters. The one thing they struggle with, at times, is getting their feet set on shots,” Rankin said. “But, they were able to do that and knock some of those down. That was big because it spread the zone a little more and actually got them out of it and we were able to attack the basket.”

The long-range buckets sparked New Castle.

“I think we got some confidence after we knocked down a couple shots and we just fed off each other,” Razzano said. “This win was extremely important. We finally got some confidence back.”

The Lady ’Canes built their lead as high as nine points, 43-34, halfway through the fourth. They were able to hold off a late Ambridge rally with a 10-for-16 effort at the foul line.

“I think everybody stepped up. We’ve been working on our free throws and everybody pretty much knocked theirs down,” Razzano said. “People stepped up and did their jobs.”

Kelsey Scott paced New Castle with 14 points, while Razzano added 12.

“I think this win built some confidence because we’re getting help from different players,” Rankin said. “Hopefully, we can keep moving in the right direction because we play a little differently in the playoffs and we’ll see what happens.”

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 11 9 15 16 0 51
Ambridge 10 14 9 10 0 43
Box Scores
Rachael Razzano 2 6-7 12
Dana Perrotta 2 2-8 7
Kelsey Scott 5 4-6 14
Christina Talbert 1 0-0 2
Nakea Fish 1 0-0 2
Darrian Johnson 2 0-0 6
Brandy Stewart 1 6-7 8
Velvet Wade 0 0-0 0
Totals: 14 18-28 51

Katie Fischer 5 0-0 12
Rachel Deiter 6 6-8 19
Scarlett Fredrick 0 0-1 0
Lexi Hilzendeger 2 0-2 4
Kelly Haslett 4 0-0 8
Totals: 17 6-11 43

NEW CASTLE 11 9 15 16 — 51
AMBRIDGE 10 14 9 10 — 43

3-point goals — New Castle 5 (Razzano 2, Johnson 2, Perrotta 1), Ambridge 3 (Fischer 2, Deiter 1).
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