New Castle News


January 1, 2014

'Canes ninth WPIAL title top local sports story of 2013

NEW CASTLE — The 2013 calendar year was filled with success for Lawrence County sports teams and individuals as well.

The New Castle High boys basketball team continued its championship tradition.

The WPIAL semifinals were once again a familiar place for one of the county’s Class A football programs.

A county softball squad reached the state championship game for a second consecutive season. This time, though, the outcome was different.

An area native headed out west for a coaching job in the National Football League.

Many sports stories were considered, but only the best earned a spot on the Top 10 list.

The list was voted upon by the New Castle News sports staff.

Here is how the balloting concluded:


New Castle’s boys basketball team compiled another stellar season last year. The ’Canes rolled up a 29-1 overall mark, including 22-0 in the regular season. New Castle won the WPIAL Section 3-AAAA title with a 14-0 record.

The ’Canes earned the No. 1 seed in the district playoffs and breezed to the championship, the ninth in the program’s history. New Castle won its four district playoff games by an average of 23.2 points a game. The ’Canes defeated Hampton for the WPIAL Class AAAA crown, 68-53, on March 2. It was the second consecutive district championship for New Castle, which knocked off the Talbots in Class AAA the year before, 57-44. Hampton is coached by former Westminster College standout Joe Lafko.

The ’Canes advanced to the PIAA semifinals before being ousted by Lower Merion at Williamsport High School on March 19, 67-63.

Malik Hooker, now a senior, threw down a thunderous second-quarter dunk for New Castle in the loss. The dunk was shown on ESPN’s SportsCenter as the No. 5 Play of the Day.

Shawn Anderson, a Navy recruit, paced the ’Canes in scoring at 20.2 points a game. He was second in the county behind Neshannock’s Ernie Burkes (21.1 ppg.). Anderson was a first-team all-state honoree as well.

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