By Liam Halferty and Jordan Greer
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The New Castle boys basketball team will face off with Lower Merion in the PIAA semifinals tonight at Williamsport.
The long distance for the game is not stopping the Hurricane faithful from cheering on their team. Fans are taking at least eight charter buses for the nearly four-hour trek across the state of Pennsylvania.
New Castle fan Chuck Stone will be among the approximately 1,000 locals squeezed into the Williamsport gym.
He thinks the Hurricane will pull out a victory against the Aces.
“It’s going to be a close one, but I think we can pull it out with our speed and defense,” Stone said. “I know they’re big, but I think with our determination and our great coach, Ralph Blundo, I think we can pull it out.”
Frank Augustine, CEO of Augustine’s Pizza, spoke of the support that the team is receiving from the community.
“Well, it’s just a great thing about New Castle, we support everybody,” Augustine said. “When you hear something good happens in New Castle, whether it’s sports or arts or somebody with a big job, we always support them.”
Augustine also predicts a win for the Hurricane, sending them into the state final.
“I look for (New Castle) to win by three,” Augustine said. “They have a rowdy section, so everybody in New Castle really has to pick it up. We got all these buses going, we’re going to be fired up for tonight.”
Tip-off for the game is set for 7 p.m. at Williamsport. With a win, New Castle would face the winner of Chester/St. Joseph’s Prep on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.