New Castle News

Sports

March 6, 2013

Players of the Week: The WPIAL champion New Castle basketball team

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE — OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

It hasn’t been an easy season for New Castle by any stretch. Along with dealing with a new classification, new opponents and high expectations, the team has had to endure struggles off the court. The ’Canes experienced several deaths to members of their family and community throughout their time together. Former player, Corey Eggleston, a starter on last year’s championship team, lost his father, Corey Eggleston Sr., in November. Senior guard Jesse Salzano lost his grandfather, Joseph Farris, while Anderson lost his grandmother, Candace Anderson, in December.   

“We’ve had a lot of adversity recently and a lot of deaths,” Drew’s brother and junior center Stew Allen said. “We were all here for each other and treated each other just the same. We’re all family and we came together and comforted one another.”

As brothers and family, the team can point to several moments throughout the season that strengthened its bond.

“We’ve been playing with each other for awhile,” Domenick said. “I think the thing that molded us together as a team is the Florida trip. We really bonded. We had our own rooms and it was a great trip.”

New Castle took a trip to Florida to participate in the KSA Orlando Tournament in mid-December. When the boys weren’t having fun at Universal Studios, they found time to play some basketball, taking home a tournament victory with wins over Cypress Creek (Fla.) and Anchorage Christian (Alaska).

“Like Brandon said, the Florida trip really helped out a lot with bringing the team together,” Anderson agreed. “I guess you kind of grow close with everyone by playing so many games and traveling so much in the summer together. I don’t know, we kind of just became brothers at some point.”

THE HEAT IS ON

Coach Blundo points to heated practices setting an early standard for his team’s performance that lasted throughout the season.

“I do think it’s the practices and the way these guys battle against each other and the ability to do that and really go at each other hard,” he said. “A near-fight in practice isn’t abnormal for us. It would appear like it never happened as soon as the play is over or as soon as the practice is over because they understand. They get the competitive element of practice every single day. Those are the things that are special. I think the other thing is when you put that much time in together and hard work together and know what each and every one of them have been through, it creates a bond you can’t break.”

With a grueling taste for competition on the court, the ’Canes balance that by keeping a light demeanor off the court. New Castle isn’t without its share of jokers on the squad, with Drew Allen and senior guard Antonio Rudolph seemingly taking the lead.

“One day I walk in the locker room, and we were waiting for the girls team to get off the floor,” Blundo said. “Antonio, he was waiting at the dry-erase board, imitating me, doing my pre-game speech. All the guys were on their stools sitting up and listening to him and he was smacking the board and pointing his finger and he didn’t know I walked in. It was something to see.”

Allen says he’s misunderstood as a cutup, looking at it from a different perspective.

“We have a lot of clowns on the team, but me, I’m not a clown, I just laugh a lot,” he joked. “There’s people like Tyler (Fitzpatrick), Levar (Ware) and Antonio, those are the jokers.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Wheaton.jpg Steelers' Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Polanco.jpg Harrison’s four hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday. Gregory Polanco and Travis Snider also went deep for the Pirates, who avoided being swept in Colorado for the second straight season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Rockies Baseb_Fusc.jpg Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1

    Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.

     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • MANGINO.jpg Mangino finding new home at Iowa State

     The first time Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey saw Mark Mangino, the former Kansas coach and current ISU offensive coordinator stopped him in his tracks.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aloi.jpg Aloi's PIAA eligibility hearing postponed

    The wait continues for Nick Aloi. Aloi, who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln High to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School on Jan. 21, still does not know if he will get to play a full season for the Leopards’ basketball team

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ManzielJersey.jpg Manziel scores as NFL’s top-selling jersey

    Second on Cleveland’s depth chart, Johnny Manziel already tops one NFL list.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Pedro, Steelers' Training Camp and LeBron

    Pedro Alvarez’s throwing woes have not subsided after the All-Star break and he has become a defensive liability, especially late in games.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsbur‘gh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day