’Canes’ bad luck continues against Mars
New Castle (47) Vs. Mars (51)
Jan 15, 2010
By RON PONIEWASZ JR.
Frustration is starting to set in for the New Castle High boys basketball team.
Last night didn’t help much.
Christian Locher buried a 3-pointer with 1:12 left to give Mars the lead for good en route to a 51-47 nonsection win at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.
The loss drops the Red Hurricane, losers of three straight, to 2-11. Four of the ’Canes’ losses have come by eight points or less. In fact, New Castle has squandered fourth-quarter leads each of the last three games.
“If you go by wins and losses, that doesn’t define who we are and who we are individually,” New Castle coach Mark Stanley said of his team’s record. “It’s what we are, it’s what it says, but it’s not reality. We’re young and we’re battling.”
’Canes sophomore guard Corey Eggleston led all scorers with a career-high 26 points. Stanley called a timeout with 30 seconds left to set up a play for Eggleston.
“We wanted to enter the ball to the right and reverse it back,” Stanley said. “Corey was coming off a cut and then everybody was going to stay. When Corey caught it on the other side, he was isolated.”
Eggleston took the pass and launched a shot that bounced off the rim and the Planets (6-4) secured the rebound. Mitchell Buzzard broke free down the floor for an easy layup for Mars and a 51-47 buffer with 14 seconds left.
“He drew it up for us to run motion and for me to go on the wing and get one on one and get at least a foul,” Eggleston said. “I thought it was going to go down. I got hit a couple of times, but the shot just didn’t go.”
Said Stanley, “We’re not going to go for the last shot because if you do miss you can foul and prolong the game.”
New Castle netted the game’s first four points, but Mars responded with an 8-0 run. The Planets held that lead until Darrian Rice’s putback after he missed two foul shots with 2:11 remaining in the third gave the ’Canes a 36-35 advantage.
Eggleston broke a 42-all deadlock with a field goal and Marcus Carter later split a pair of foul shots to lift New Castle to its biggest lead at 45-42 with 4:46 to play.
The lead didn’t last, as the Planets held the ’Canes to just a pair of foul shots the rest of the way.
“Right now we’re probably not playing together,” Eggleston said. “We haven’t gelled the way we need to.
“If we can keep playing hard we’ll figure out how to win. We’re getting closer and closer each time. As long as we keep playing hard we’ll come together.”
New Castle returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when it hosts Ellwood City Lincoln (1-4 section, 3-9 overall) in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA matchup. The ’Canes are also 1-4 in section play.
“We have to get after it,” Stanley said. “I know Ellwood always play hard.
“Nobody is feeling sorry for us, and neither are we. We’re taking our lumps and we’re getting what we earn and hopefully we can get a win on Tuesday.”