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New Castle routs North Allegheny in battle of unbeatens

| Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 10:24 p.m.
Christopher Horner
New Castle's Shawn Anderson drives through North Allegheny's James Meeker, R.J. Colabrese and Elijah Zeise to score during the first half of their game Friday Jan. 11, 2013 in McCandless. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Instead of a rivalry, this became a rout.

Shawn Anderson scored 23 points, and New Castle's defense forced 26 turnovers in Friday night's 88-43 victory over No. 3 North Allegheny, keeping the top-ranked Red Hurricanes as the only undefeated team in Section 3.

“Both were undefeated, both were tough teams,” Anderson said, “ ... we just came out with energy.”

New Castle's lead reached 40 points with 8 seconds left in the third quarter. When Anderson made a layup through contact and then added the free throw, New Castle led, 74-33, enacting the mercy rule's running clock for the entire fourth.

New Castle held a 28-8 lead after one quarter and 50-24 at halftime in front of a large crowd at North Allegheny.

“The ball went in early, momentum started to build, the energy was there,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said, “and we really never let up.”

Before this game, North Allegheny (11-1, 5-1) also was perfect. But now New Castle (12-0, 6-0) sits alone atop the section standings. Both teams play similar styles, with up-tempo offenses and high-pressure defenses. But New Castle found success with its press.

“When we're clicking on all cylinders, it's very hard to get the ball up the floor on us,” Anderson said.

The Red Hurricanes had 10 first-half steals and forced 17 turnovers in those first 16 minutes. With the score tied, 4-4, New Castle began a 22-2 run fueled by turnovers.

“They came out and punched us in the mouth early,” NA coach Dave DeGregorio said. “Things we wanted to do, we didn't do well.”

Anthony Richards scored 14 points for New Castle, including four 3-pointers. Drew Allen had 12 points, and Brandon Domenick added 10. Adam Haus led North Allegheny with 13 points.

“I don't know if we could have played any better than we did tonight,” Blundo said. “The energy was great. The focus was great.”

North Allegheny shot just 36 percent. New Castle shot 54 percent (35-64), including 12 of 22 from 3-point range.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @charlan_trib.

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