Lady ’Canes use balanced attack to roll past Beaver Falls
Beaver Falls (40) Vs. New Castle (61)
Nov 30, 2007

Replacing Jaleesa Sams, Ryenn Micaletti and Kara Joseph is a huge task facing the New Castle girls basketball team.

That’s certainly no secret, since the three graduated Lady ’Canes combined for nearly 34 points per game for last season’s WPIAL Class AAAA champions.

And if last night’s season-opening win over Beaver Falls is any indication of how the Lady ’Canes will go about finding those extra points, the whole team will be involved.

All five New Castle starters scored at least nine points in a 61-40 opening round win in the New Castle Tipoff Tournament. The Lady ’Canes will face two-time defending PIAA Class AAA champion Hopewell, a 50-37 winner over Canon-McMillan, at 4 p.m. today in the title game.

It was the first career varsity start for cousins Tasia and Nikki Wise, with both giving New Castle quality play in the paint. Tasia had six points and six rebounds in the first quarter when the Lady ’Canes struggled to get into a groove.

“Tasia played exceptionally well in the first half,” New Castle coach Luann Grybowski said of Wise, who had a game-high 11 rebounds to go with 12 points. “She rebounded very well and got easy layups because of it.”

Tasia played exclusively off the bench last year — which is why yesterday in school was a little nerve-racking. “I was so anxious — I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a long time,” she said.
Nikki Wise had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three steals and dominated the Lady Tigers down low with her size and left-handed drives to the hoop.

“It was good first start for us,” Nikki said. “I really couldn’t ask for anything else from Tasia, she played great.” The Lady ’Canes led 20-11 after one and 32-18 at the half due mainly to its trapping, fast, pressure defense that forced 17 first half turnovers and 28 for the game.

Senior guard Abby Allen scored nine points, but got the biggest thrill when she was told she had eight steals. “Wow,” she said. “We base our entire team game off the defense and we try to score off steals and turnovers.”

New Castle methodically put the game out of reach in the third quarter, finally getting into a rhythm offensively while forcing Beaver Falls (0-1) into mistakes. Tasia Wise’s 3-point play off an offensive rebound late in the quarter gave them a 52-24 lead.

Shelby Rodgers (who split point guard duties with Allen) and Logan Hartman each had nine points, with Jazelle Dennis and JaVonna Moss combining for nine points on consecutive three’s in the first quarter to put the Lady ’Canes up 20-11.

Allen was in Tasia and Nikki Wise’s position last year and thrived, becoming a key part of the starting five. She’s the veteran now.
“They did excellent — scoring, they rebounded tremendous,” she said.
Grybowski couldn’t help but groan at the fact that her team had 21 turnovers, but was mostly pleased with the effort in the first game. She loves the fact that she has three legitimate girls she can go to down low (Hartman and the Wise cousins) and saw a defense that might be collectively faster than in the past.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Beaver Falls 11 7 8 14 0 40
New Castle 20 12 20 9 0 61
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
Beaver Falls
Alysia Policaro200150
Dyara Williams31071140
Melissa Taylor100020
Octavia Vaughn122040
Alyssa Miller5201110
Erica Pamer000000
Mary Fairley100020
Rose Selby100020
Shaquille Vaughn000000
New Castle
#11 Abby Allen400190
#0 Shelby Rodgers400190
#22 Logan Hartman177090
#23 Tasia Wise4540120
#44 Nikki Wise6410130
#31 Jazelle Dennis200260
#24 JaVonna Moss100130
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