NEW CASTLE —
A section title.
A WPIAL championship.
Not to mention a 27-game winning streak, tied for the program mark with the 2001-02 team.
Corey Eggleston surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for his standout career. Shawn Anderson is on the verge of the feat and will reach that milestone sometime early next season.
The New Castle High boys basketball team dominated teams throughout the season, constantly running teams off the floor. Few opponents gave the Red Hurricane a battle.
New Castle outscored the opposition by a staggering 79.1-52.4 advantage. Nobody could keep up with the ’Canes. It was no contest, most of the time, and out of reach by the start of the fourth quarter.
There’s not too much New Castle didn’t accomplish this year. The only things left to accomplish were owning the school record outright for consecutive wins, finishing 31-0 and winning the school’s first state championship.
The last time a WPIAL team went through the entire season unbeaten, capturing a PIAA crown along the way, was Sto-Rox in 1983. It’s been quite a while since it was done, and it proves how difficult what New Castle was attempting to do is.
Regardless, the accomplishments, victories and hardware collected along the way are proof this ’Canes team certainly made its mark. From the coaching staff on down to the players, everybody had a hand in the success the team achieved.
Montour dashed the ’Canes’ dream of a state championship on Tuesday, with a heartbreaking 50-43 overtime loss at Duquesne University’s A.J. Palumbo Center. The Spartans are a tempo-oriented team just like New Castle, only they like to dictate a slower pace. The ’Canes were almost able to conquer it like they did against Hampton in the WPIAL championship game.
But there’s no shame in losing. New Castle didn’t lose to a ragtag bunch. The Spartans are quite a formidable foe. Will Montour go on to reach the state championship game? Time will tell. Getting past undefeated General McLane won’t be easy.
In fact, it wouldn’t have been a picnic for the ’Canes, either. But it’s a game I would have enjoyed watching, along with many others. To be the best, you have to beat the best.
Losing will hurt. It always does. The 2011-12 version of the ’Canes was a special group, and soon they can sit back and reflect and take pride at what they accomplished.
New Castle graduates just two players — Eggleston and reserve Jermaine Cuffie — while moving up to quad-A next year. The ’Canes are going from arguably the best triple-A section in the WPIAL to the best quad-A section in the district, and perhaps regardless of classification. There will be good basketball teams next year that will be left out of the postseason. That’s how good that section is.
New Castle will be back. You can count on that. The ’Canes will continue to battle like they did all season. But for now, it’s time for the team to hold their heads high and be proud of all the special things they accomplished.
It was a journey none of them will forget.
(Ron Poniewasz Jr., better known as the Doctor of Style, is a sports writer and web personality at The News.)
NEW CASTLE —
A section title.
- New Castle
New Castle hires information technology director
The New Castle school district has a new information technology director. At its meeting this week the board hired Emily Sanders of Cranberry Township to fill the position, left vacant by the retirement of Beth Barber.
Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe
Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.
High school registration scheduled at New Castle
Registration has been set for new students in grades seven through 12 moving into the New Castle school district.
Couple accused of contacting rape victim
A man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint allegedly tried to get her to drop the charges.
Break out the bubbly
New Castle may be the Fireworks Capital of America, but Friday night bubbles filled the air.
State title ties: Wampum, New Castle teams celebrate incredible success
Their spectaular success stories are separated by more than a half century. But they sat side-by-side Thursday morning, sharing more than just breakfast at Jata’s Diner, a familiar meeting spot for former Wampum High School players.
Male Athlete of the Year: New Castle's Malik Hooker
Once in a while, an athlete comes along who redefines the very word. Then, there’s Malik Hooker. The New Castle High graduate took athleticism to a level rarely seen before in the area on the basketball court and on the football turf.
New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty
The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.
District to sell closed schools, contents
The New Castle school district will advertise for proposals to buy its three just-closed elementary schools.
Photo Gallery, Story: New Castle native competes on ‘The Price is Right’
New Caste native Jeff Feola got his chance to “come on down” during an episode of “The Price is Right” that aired Thursday.
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- New Castle hires information technology director