Business as usual for ‘Canes
New Castle (82) Vs. Butler (40)
Jan 19, 2013
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
It was business as usual last night for the New Castle High boys basketball team.
Three players reached double figures, turnovers were at a minimum — and the final winning margin was in double figures for the Red Hurricane.
New Castle took command in the first quarter and coasted to an 82-40 WPIAL Section 3-AAAA victory over Butler at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House in front of a packed crowd.
Despite the lopsided score, ’Canes coach Ralph Blundo wasn’t thrilled with his team’s performance.
“We didn’t particularly play well tonight,” Blundo said. “I thought they got some deep penetration early in the first half tonight. We were a bit all over the place. But the score said otherwise.
“Sometimes when you have really good athletes that can make up for some mistakes you make defensively, that’s kind of what happened against Butler. We want to be doing things right.”
New Castle (8-0 section, 15-0 overall) won its 39th straight regular season game and 21st in a row at home. None of the wins during the streak was decided by less than 10 points.
“It’s always great to go out there and get a win. It’s a section win, a big win. It’s great. We just want to keep it rolling,” ’Canes junior Anthony Richards said. “We don’t even pay attention to the streak. We just pay attention to what we have right in front of us. Whatever is right in front of us, that’s what we’re focused on.”
The ’Canes were coming off a grueling three-game stretch against North Allegheny, Montour and Hampton. The combined record of the teams entering last night’s action was 32-8.
New Castle pounced on the visiting Golden Tornado (2-6, 5-9) in the first quarter, opening a 22-4 lead after the period.
“Usually we have a plan to jump on teams early and then coast from there,” New Castle senior Brandon Domenick said. “Montour and Hampton took us out of our routine. But tonight we got back into our routine.
“We knew if we didn’t come out with our best effort, it would have been a two-point game.”
Domenick, a point guard and Gannon recruit, helps the ’Canes take care of the ball. Last night, New Castle turned the ball over just three times.
“It all starts with having a four-year point guard,” Blundo said. “I have a four-year starter at point guard in Brandon Domenick. I don’t even know as a coach you can describe the value of that.
“It all starts and ends with him. He doesn’t turn it over and we average less than 10 turnovers a game. I have good guards and we work really hard at our skill work.”
The ’Canes pushed the lead to 38-15 at the break and 59-28 going to the fourth.
Shawn Anderson, a senior and Navy recruit, paced New Castle with 21 points. He added six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“The thing about Shawn is you just barely notice him,” Blundo said. “He just does what he does and he does it well. Before you know it he has 21.
“The best word you can describe Shawn is effective. He finds a way to get the ball in the hole and he rebounds. He’s solid.”
Levar Ware came off the bench to record a career-high 11 markers and a team-best nine rebounds for the winners. Ten of his points came in the fourth frame. Antonio Rudolph was next with 10 points and three steals.
Domenick handed out a team-high nine assists to go with his seven points.
Zach Neudorfer, a reserve, paced coach Matt Clement’s Butler squad with 11 points, all coming in the third period. Three of his four field goals were 3-pointers. His last bucket cut the deficit to 44-26 with 5:18 left. The Golden Tornado couldn’t get any closer the rest of the way.
New Castle returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at section rival Pine-Richland. The ’Canes rolled past the Rams (1-7, 8-7) at home in the previous encounter, 67-45. But Pine-Richland hung in with second-place North Allegheny (7-1, 13-1) last night before falling, 70-64.
“It’s a road game in Section 3 and I just think they’re way better than their record indicates,” Blundo said of Pine-Richland. “We’ll get ready for them the same way we get ready for everyone else.”