'Canes cruise to remain unbeaten
New Castle (74) Vs. Blackhawk (41)
Dec 18, 2015
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News
In the opening minute Friday night, Blackhawk’s basketball team hit a layup and took an early lead over New Castle.
It was the only advantage the visiting Cougars would hold, as the ‘Canes coasted to a 74-41 Section 2-AAA victory.
New Castle (3-0 section, 7-0 overall) went on to score 11 straight points following the opening Blackhawk bucket and held a 20-point lead early in the second quarter.
The ‘Canes scored a combined 48 points in the first and third quarters, boosted by the opening 11-2 run in the first and a 10-0 unanswered streak coming out of the halftime break.
“I thought we really played well, especially in the first and third quarters,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. “We had two really good days of practice, there were obviously things we had to fix coming out of Tuesday’s game (against Central Valley) and I thought, we did that. There were still mistakes tonight, but I’m happy with the direction we are going.”
The second quarter, however, was a little sloppier for New Castle. The ‘Canes scored just 10 points and seemed out of place in the continued absence of Geno Stone, who sat out his second straight game with an illness.
“We still have some guys uncomfortable playing in different positions that they have to play in because of the absence of Geno,” Blundo said. “Defensively, every now and then, there will be some layoffs and things like that because of how top-heavy we are in our press. We get that, we know that and we can live with that defensively.
“Offensively, we want to be right on every pass, every possession. We’re getting there, we run a lot of different things and it takes time.”
Marquel Hooker shouldered the scoring load once again for New Castle, scoring a game-high 25 points.
“He plays with great energy,” Blundo said. “Marquel is a perfect example, if you didn’t play as hard as he would play, he wouldn’t be as effective as he is. But he plays so hard and he can play harder longer than most people.”
Marcus Hooker added 17 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the victory.
The New Castle defense frustrated yet another opposing offense, as it forced 20 turnovers and recorded 13 steals.