New Castle rolls past Beaver
New Castle (52) Vs. Beaver (34)
Jan 23, 2009

BEAVER — The drought is over for Mark Stanley and the New Castle High basketball team.

Tyrone Steals tossed in a game-high 26 points to lead the Red Hurricane to a 52-34 victory over Beaver in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA contest. It’s the ’Canes’ eighth-straight victory, snaps a two-year postseason drought for New Castle (7-2 section, 12-5 overall) and puts Stanley into the postseason for the first time since leaving Union for the Red Hurricane bench in 2007.

It also sets up a showdown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against section-leading Blackhawk (7-1, 11-5) at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

“This is the funnest part of the year; the kids have been working hard all year,” Stanley said. “It’s exciting for them. We believe we can beat anybody and we want that opportunity.

“Ty was Ty tonight. He gives us a big lift; he’s playing his best basketball right now and that’s good for us.”

The ’Canes dropped a 63-58 decision on the Cougars’ home floor in the first encounter.

Senior guard Michael Bongivengo quarterbacked New Castle to the Class AAA football playoffs, including a berth in the semifinals. His leadership has proven valuable for Stanley’s troops.

“It’s great to be back in the playoffs,” Bongivengo said. “It shows the guys how hard they have to work to move on; we’re in now and we have to start making a run.”

New Castle has nine seniors listed on its roster, none of whom saw varsity time when the program last appeared in the postseason in 2006, when McKeesport posted a 58-55 opening-round win over the ’Canes at North Allegheny.

“We’ve been playing together for a long time and we wanted to make a run our senior year,” said senior guard Tonio Fulena, who posted three steals and a pair of markers last night. “It’s nice to get in, but we still have more work to do.”

Said senior forward Jordan Gentsy, “We’re playing hard and playing together. We need to keep that going.”

New Castle’s defense helped put the game away early. Trailing 10-9, the ’Canes went on a 13-0 run for 22-10 advantage with 1:34 to go in the opening half. Steals netted five points in the spurt and Jajuan Jay contributed four.

“It was a team effort,” Steals said. “I was driving strong (all game) and waiting for the gaps to open.”

The Bobcats were scoreless for 7:47 during the run. Ryan Herald halted the drought by splitting a pair of free throws with 1:33 to go in the opening half.

“I told the guys if you let them stay close, it will be a tough game,” Stanley said. “We were able to get control early and get that distance between us.”

Beaver went 12:47 without a field goal before Will Hazlett broke that stretch on a bucket with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter. Hazlett’s field goal cut the ’Canes lead to 34-13.

“Coach kept telling us if we come out slow or sloppy we’re going to get beat,” New Castle’s Nick Klein said. “We took that serious and came out hard.”

Steals dominated the third quarter, tallying 11 of his points.

“I thought he did well on the offensive glass; he got putbacks,” Stanley said of Steals. “He can get better and he knows it. He’s a team leader and he’s getting better and better.”

New Castle built a 41-20 buffer after three stanzas and cruised to the postseason berth in the final frame.

Rodney Parchman followed Steals’ effort with eight markers and a game-best 11 rebounds.

The ’Canes’ Corey Eggleston sat out with a sprained anterior cruciate ligament. Stanley said he might miss the Blackhawk game.

Hazlett paced Beaver with 15 markers and Herald followed with 10.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
New Castle 16 8 17 11 0 52
Beaver 10 1 9 14 0 34
Box Scores
Tyrone Steals 12 0-2 26
Nick Klein 1 0-0 3
Stephen Richardson 2 0-2 4
Tonio Fulena 1 0-1 2
Rodney Parchman 3 2-2 8
Mike Cox 0 0-0 0
Jordan Gentsy 0 0-0 0
Jajuan Jay 3 0-0 6
Michael Bongivengo 0 0-0 0
Ernie Bester 0 0-0 0
Anthony Jackson 0 0-0 0
Jeremy Garver 0 0-0 0
D.J. Johnson 0 0-0 0
Jamale Rice 1 0-0 3
Totals: 23 2-7 52

Ryan Herald 3 3-4 10
Garrett Morrow 1 0-1 2
Kris Roper 0 0-1 0
Will Hazlett 7 1-2 15
Matt DiNuzzo 0 0-1 0
Patrick Huddy 0 2-2 2
Corey Cochran 0 0-0 0
Drey Riffle 0 0-0 0
Kevin Grant 0 0-0 0
Nick Koshute 0 2-2 2
Bruce Fronk 1 0-0 3
Totals: 11 8-13 34

NEW CASTLE 16 8 17 11 — 52
BEAVER 10 1 9 14 — 34

3-point goals — New Castle 4 (Steals 2, Klein 1, Rice 1), Beaver 2 (Herald 1, Fronk 1).
JV score: New Castle 47, Beaver 39. High scorer: NC — Jajuan Jay 20, Anthony Jackson 13.
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