New Castle tops Farrell in battle of unbeatens
New Castle (66) Vs. Farrell (61)
Dec 19, 2015
By Ron Poniewasz Jr.
Marquel Hooker delivered for the New Castle High boys basketball team Saturday night.
Hooker netted a game-high 24 points to lead the Red Hurricane to a 66-61 nonsection win at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House. It was the final matchup on the five-game docket in The Clash Shootout.
"I thought it was a good win for us," New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. "It's great to renew that rivalry with Farrell.
"They have a really nice basketball team. We played well for three, three-and-a-half quarters. But we'll take the win."
Hooker was 10 of 19 from the field with six rebounds, six assists and three steals.
"Marquel really got us going early," Blundo said. "He was beating his guy off the dribble and just playing really good basketball."
Pat Minenok chipped in 15 points with a team-best 13 rebounds. He was 7 of 12 from the floor.
"Pat had a tremendous game," Blundo said. "He played with great energy. I think he's getting his basketball legs back."
Marcus Hooker, Marquel's younger brother, chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The 'Canes (8-0) led 19-13 after one quarter and 34-23 at the break. New Castle carried a 45-34 advantage into the final period. The Steelers, though, outscored the 'Canes in the final eight minutes, 27-21.
"We got a little sloppy late in the game. The game just went in that direction late," Blundo said. "I wasn't pleased with the way we closed it out.
"It was the third game in five days. We just didn't play a good fourth quarter."
New Castle (3-0 section) returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when it hosts Hopewell (0-2, 0-4) in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA matchup.
"We would love to get one more win at home to close out the first half of the season before the Christmas tournament," Blundo said. "It would be a great way to enter the break."