New Castle pulls away for win over West Allegheny
New Castle (73) Vs. West Allegheny (57)
Dec 18, 2010
By JOE SAGER
The New Castle High boys basketball team might be young, but it’s extremely relentless.
Last night, the Red Hurricane turned up the pressure to throttle West Allegheny, 73-57, in the WPIAL Section 2-AAA opener for both teams.
“That was a good basketball team out there. They made open shots. Every time we made a mistake defensively, they made us pay,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. “I thought my kids played extraordinarily hard. We made some mistakes, but that’s part of being a young team. I am proud of the effort and what they gave me.”
New Castle (1-0 section, 3-1 overall) forced 21 turnovers and pulled away in the third quarter to earn the victory.
“It was a very important win. Coach Blundo talked about it a lot and the team rallied and we played very well,” said New Castle’s Shawn Anderson, who tallied a game-high 21 points. “We knew it was going to be a battle. We expected it, so all we could do was play hard for the entire time and expect to win.”
The squads fought to an 11-11 tie at the end of the first quarter. The Indians (0-1, 0-4) pulled ahead, 18-14, in the second, but the ’Canes went on a 7-0 run. Anderson have five points in the spree, while Antonio Rudolph scored the other two to give the hosts a 21-18 lead with 4:01 left in the half.
New Castle maintained its buffer and pushed it to double digits, 36-26, with seven points in the final 55.3 seconds. Anthony Richards capped the drive with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“When you continue to stay focused and continue to grind and grind, even when the other team is playing well, eventually you get on those spurts,” Blundo said. “We gave up some shots in our press, but I think we made them play faster than they wanted to.”
West Allegheny marched back early in the third and cut the deficit to 45-41, but the ’Canes closed the frame with a 9-2 spree to establish a 56-43 advantage.
“I think it speaks to the character of our young men,” Blundo said. “When your effort is sustained all of the time, you can rebound from runs and not be fazed by them. They did a great job with that.”
New Castle’s defensive trapping led to some easy baskets in transition during the burst.
“It’s all about defense; that’s what we stress,” Anderson said. “When they started running, we kept our composure, went into our trap and, once you play good defense, offense comes out of it.”
The ’Canes’ lead swelled to 19 points, 69-50, before they settled for the 16-point victory.
Corey Eggleston scored 16 points and had five steals and five assists for New Castle. Rudolph had 11 points, while Anderson added four steals and three assists. Brandon Domenick had seven assists and seven points.
The ’Canes return to action next week with a pair of nonsection tilts — Tuesday at Seneca Valley and Wednesday at home against Bishop Canevin.
“When you have a young team, momentum is a big thing,” Blundo said. “I want my kids to see that the effort and work that they put in at practice and all summer will pay off. I think it’s important.”