Lady ’Canes edge Blackhawk
New Castle (69) Vs. Blackhawk (66)
Jan 04, 2011
Don’t count out the Lady ’Canes just yet.
New Castle fought off a wild comeback to edge Blackhawk in a Section 2-AAA matchup.
The Lady ’Canes (2-0, 5-2) led by 19 early in the third quarter when Blackhawk came storming back. Alexa Hayward, a St. Francis of Pa. recruit, scored all 14 of her points in the second half and tied the game at 50 two minutes into the fourth quarter.
The game remained tight for the next few minutes, and then New Castle’s balanced offense resurfaced, led by Christina Talbert, who made 5 of 6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. She sank two free throws to put New Castle up, 69-63, with eight seconds to go. The Lady Cougars (4-4) hit a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining to close the scoring.
“We still have four starters that won two WPIALs in a row, and I told them ‘Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion,’ ” said New Castle coach Jason Rankin, whose team lost leading scorer Kaylynn Waters for the season a few weeks ago. “For someone to say we’re done because we lost one player is ludicrous. This is a team game, and this team wasn’t built around one player no matter how great she is. This team is improving, it has a lot of talent and by the end of the year, I think we’ll be ready to make a run.”
The Lady ’Canes’ LaShauna Brothers led all scorers with 28. Talbert provided 18 points, and Ja’Nia McPhatter netted 13. Blackhawk’s Jasmine Campbell scored a team-best 16. Rachel Curtiss added 11, and Alexis Graham chipped in 10.