Late rally lifts ’Canes over Shenango
New Castle (54) Vs. Shenango (49)
Dec 04, 2007

The defense stood tall at the right time for the New Castle High boys basketball team.

The Red Hurricane turned up the intensity during the final 13 minutes to post a 54-49 win over Shenango last night in the consolation matchup of the Beaver Falls Tipoff Tournament.

“We’re trying to get better,” New Castle coach Mark Stanley said.

“We needed to get some of those good looks to go down. If they go down, then we’re in our pressure. Once you make some shots, your intensity level picks up.”

Beaver Falls topped Blackhawk in the championship game, 75-72.

Trailing 36-25 with 4:55 to go in the third quarter, New Castle’s defense clamped down, holding the Wildcats without a field goal for more than seven and a half minutes and outscoring them, 14-5. Mike Murcko snapped Shenango out of its funk with a bucket at 5:19, keeping the Wildcats ahead, 43-39.

“Our pressure, even though we weren’t getting steals, takes a toll,” Stanley said.

“When you get down and the other team is on a run, you have to make a basket to break it,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “That’s the time you have to step up and answer. The momentum just shifted their way.

“It’s a game of runs, but unfortunately we didn’t answer that run.”

New Castle (2-2) knotted the score at 43 on a steal and coast-to-coast layup by Nick Colella with 3:41 to go. It was the first tie since 19-19 with 5:12 to go in the second quarter.

“We definitely feed off our defense,” Colella said. “We got in the huddle and told each other to get it together.”

Colella hit a free throw to put the ’Canes up 44-43 with 3:22 left. He grabbed the rebound off the second attempt and laid it in two seconds later for a 46-43 lead that New Castle never surrendered.

Colella, who was named to the all-tournament team, paced the ’Canes with 20 points and seven rebounds.

“Nick is our guy; we rely on Nick to do everything for us,” Stanley said. “He looks like an athlete and he plays like an athlete.”

Said Colella, “I think my outside shot and outside game has to get a little bit better. I just need to continue to work hard.”

Chris Richards followed with 12 markers and Mike Andrews added 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds.

Down 51-49, Bryan Chieze missed a runner in the lane with 35 seconds to go and Jajuan Jay snared the rebound. Jay missed the first foul shot, hitting the side of the backboard before draining the second shot for a 52-49 lead with 33 seconds remaining.

“I was kidding with him. We were saying at least hit the backboard,” Stanley said. “After he missed that one, he got it together and stepped up and made that big one.

“That’s not an easy situation. I was happy for him.”

Shenango (2-2) had one more opportunity, but Andrew Watson misfired on a three-point attempt with 22 seconds left.

Murcko led the Wildcats with a career-high 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Chieze and Rich Gaston chipped in with 11 markers each. Gaston grabbed seven rebounds and Chieze dished out five assists.

“I think Mike did a great job,” McQuiston said. “One thing we asked Mike to do was be more physical.

“He’s going after it and we’re proud of him; he’s working hard and it’s starting to pay off.”

McQuiston is pleased with the Wildcats’ balance.

“We don’t have any superstars, but we have a lot of good players,” he said. “We don’t have anyone that can drop 25 or 30 points every night. but we have guys that can hit for 15 or so every night.”
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 14 8 9 23 0 54
Shenango 16 11 12 10 0 49
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
New Castle
#10 Nick Colella6971200
#11 Tyrone Steals400190
#4 Tonio Fulena022020
#34 Mike Andrews3440100
#5 Chris Richards4422120
#13 Jajuan Jay021010
#1 Bryan Chieze3441110
#42 Rich Gaston3950110
#3 Jesse Noca000000
#21 Andrew Watson054040
#34 Ryan Tanner100130
#25 Mike Murcko7220160
#32 Chris Grant122040
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