Lady ’Canes clinch playoffs with rout
New Castle (77) Vs. Center (27)
Jan 26, 2009
The streak continues for the New Castle High girls basketball team.
The Lady ’Canes forced 28 turnovers in rolling to a 77-27 victory over Center last night in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA matchup.
With the win, New Castle (6-1 section, 15-2 overall) clinched a playoff berth — the program’s seventh straight postseason bid.
“We played excellent defense,” Lady ’Canes coach Luann Grybowski said. “They played hard and it was exciting to watch.
“It’s always nice to know you have a spot in the playoffs. On the other hand, we’re not satisfied with just a spot. You have to get a playoff spot before you can achieve anything else.”
New Castle, ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has a one-game lead over Ambridge (5-2, 10-6) and Blackhawk (5-2, 9-9). The Lady ’Canes travel to Blackhawk at 8 p.m. Thursday.
New Castle is seeking its fourth section crown since 2005.
“I would hope those are things that would help establish the quality of a program,” Grybowski said. “I hope it would speak for a couple things. Our assistant coaches work very hard.
“Maria (Joseph) puts in extra time and so does Jason (Rankin). The kids are very dedicated and they show up for workouts. They play a lot of games and that always helps create a program.”
Five players reached double figures for New Castle. LaShauna Brothers led the balanced attack with 16 points and four rebounds. She had 12 in the first quarter as the Lady ’Canes built a 26-9 lead.
Shelby Rodgers added 14 points and three steals, while Kaylynn Waters chipped in with 13, 11 in the first quarter, and three assists.
JaNia McPhatter and Zynieckia Bester had 10 markers apiece. McPhatter added four rebounds and four steals, while Bester, who matched a career high, got all of her points in the second stanza.
Annie Bozich and Ellie George tallied six points each for the Lady Trojans (1-6, 6-9).
New Castle made 29 of 51 from the floor, compared to 9 of 28 for Center. The Lady ’Canes turned the ball over 15 times.