New Castle’s momentum stalls at Shaler
New Castle (45) Vs. Shaler (63)
Jan 15, 2008
SHALER TOWNSHIP — New Castle was feeling good entering last night’s game at Shaler High.

After all, the Red Hurricane had won three straight to climb back into the WPIAL Section 3-AAAA boys basketball playoff race.

However, the’ Canes left the Titans’ gym with some grim faces following a 63-45 setback.

“I thought we were going to pull this one out. We had a lot of momentum coming in here. Everyone was excited,” New Castle senior Nick Colella said. “We just didn’t play how we normally play.”

New Castle (3-5 section, 7-10 overall) averaged 60.7 points in its last three games. However, the offense failed to ignite, especially in the third quarter when the team’s defense forced several turnovers to give the squad the chance to erase a 34-25 halftime deficit.

“I thought, at times, we started to make a little run and then, whether we’d turn it over or take one look and take a bad shot, I thought we made some bad choices,” New Castle coach Mark Stanley said. “We’d try to get into something and then we’d just take a shot, the first one to present itself and it wasn’t a good shot.

“In the third quarter, we came out and had some stops. We’re getting those stops, but the problem is we’re not converting on the other end,” he continued. “We did it against North Hills and we were able to pull one out there. But, you have to convert those ...”

The Titans (4-4, 10-7) didn’t exactly pull away, but they pushed their advantage to a reachable 10 points, 46-36, heading into the fourth quarter. But New Castle couldn’t come back.

“We were hurting offensively. We were getting some stops and playing good defense,” Colella said. “We just couldn’t get the ball in the hole.”

Colella led the ’Canes with 16 points, while Mike Andrews added 13.

The win propelled Shaler into third place in the section behind North Allegheny (7-1) and Seneca Valley (5-3). New Castle dropped into a tie for fifth with North Hills (3-5). Pine-Richland is fourth (3-4) and Butler is seventh (2-5). Only the top four teams qualify for the WPIAL playoffs.

“Destiny is still in our own hands. If we win the games we’re supposed to — if we get the next two and then we have N.A. coming to our place,” Stanley said. “I believe five wins is getting you into the playoffs; if you can get to five. We have to take care of the little things and take care of our home games and maybe steal one on the road.”

Seneca Valley, which shocked North Allegheny, 56-40, at home last night, invades New Castle on Friday in what will be a huge contest for the ’Canes.

“Friday is just going to be like we have to start over from scratch,” Colella said. “It’s going to be like a playoff game. We just have to start all over and battle and scratch our way back.”
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 45 0 0 0 0 45
Shaler 63 0 0 0 0 63
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
New Castle
#4 Tonio Fulena000000
#5 Chris Richards200150
#10 Nick Colella5851160
#11 Tyrone Steals400080
#34 Mike Andrews5430130
#22 Nick Klein100130
#31 Rodney Parchman000000
#21 Jordan Gentsy000000
Della Valle231050
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