New Castle outduels North Allegheny again
By Chris Harlan
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, 10:24 p.m.
Never this season had the zero side of a one-sided run belonged to New Castle.
Caught on that unfamiliar side Tuesday night, the No. 1-ranked Red Hurricanes ended it with their own lopsided run to take a 64-48 victory over host No. 2 North Allegheny. It was the 66th consecutive regular season win for New Castle (20-0, 13-0), a two-time defending WPIAL champion.
“(Our players are) really good at not being affected by the emotions of the game,” said New Castle coach Ralph Blundo, whose team was leading 21-7 before NA scored 14 consecutive points to force a 21-21 tie with 1:25 left before halftime. “Good or bad, we're able to get to the next play. I could probably go longer without a timeout during a run by the other team than most coaches because I trust my guys. They don't get flustered.”
New Castle scored 14 of the next 16 points, including the first 10 after halftime and never trailed. That run included consecutive 3s by Drew Allen and Anthony Richards less than 90 seconds into the second half. With 5:40 left in the third, New Castle led 35-25.
“With the way they play and the way we play, a 14-0 run can happen like that,” Richards said. “A couple 3s here. A couple 3s there.”
The victory clinched New Castle (20-0, 13-0) the Section 3 title and has the team within two wins of its third consecutive undefeated regular season. No. 3 Hampton visits New Castle on Friday.
Malik Hooker led four New Castle players in double figures with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Stew Allen had 14 points, Richards had 13 and Drew Allen added 11.
New Castle held a slight edge in turnovers (13-16) and rebounds (33-25), but a large advantage in free throws. The Red Hurricanes made 21 of 31. NA made 8 of 14.
Cole Constantino had 15 points for No. 2 North Allegheny (16-3, 10-3), and Elijah Zeise had 13.
New Castle won the first meeting with North Allegheny, 63-41, on Jan. 10.
“They're so physical defensively that you have to find a way to run your offense,” said NA coach Dave DeGregorio, who drew a third-quarter technical while arguing for a foul against New Castle. “Early on, we struggled with their physicality.”
New Castle led 13-3 after the first quarter and 21-7 midway through the second, before NA's 14-0 run. Solid shooting fueled the run. NA made just 1 of 10 first-quarter shots, but was 8 of 11 in the second. Constantino had seven points in the second quarter, and Zeise had six.
New Castle led 25-23 at halftime.
“They made some great shots,” Blundo said. “We haven't had that (happen to us) this year. That's a credit to North Allegheny. ... They made some tough contested shots.”
New Castle led 45-33 after three. Playing with the lead, Richards was 8 for 8 from the foul line in the second half. Hooker had nine points in the fourth quarter.
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Breaking down the PIAA boys basketball playoffs
- Kiski Area shrugs off 54-point semifinal loss, refocuses on PIAA playoffs
- Trib Cup: Focused roster leads Vincentian girls to 3rd straight WPIAL title
- Thomas Jefferson basketball team wants to erase sting of WPIAL loss
- Canevin girls basketball team heading to PIAA tournament
- Seton-La Salle basketball teams share WPIAL Class AA limelight
- EF girls know it’s time to step up for PIAA playoffs
- Breaking down the PIAA girls basketball playoffs
- Frazier, EF girls set to hit PIAA road
- After long layoff, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant girls set for PIAA tournament
- Lady Trojans set for PIAA playoffs