NEW CASTLE —
Easton Bazzoli, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, leads Seneca Valley at 15.5 points a game.
“He’s a very good player that creates matchup problems for us,” Blundo said of Bazzoli. “He’s one of the better players in our league; he can shoot it, he’s got a good pull-up jumper and he’s an all-around player.”
Ryan McCauley, a 6-3 senior forward, is next at 12.5 points a contest. He led Seneca Valley in scoring with 21 points in the win over USC and had 21 in the 72-41 first-round verdict over Central Catholic.
“McCauley has been really consistent for them all year, giving them 12 or 13 (points) every night,” Blundo said. “He’s a big, strong kid and he’s effective.”
Alex Snyder leads the team in rebounding at seven a game. He paced the Raiders with 12 points against New Castle at the Field House.
“He’s a big, big body kid for them,” Blundo said. “He’s got good post moves down low and he rebounds well.
“For a kid his size, he has good feet. When you have to post-defend, sometimes it changes the way you guard a team.”
Shawn Anderson, a 6-3 senior guard/forward and Navy recruit, paces New Castle in scoring at 20.4 points a game. He’s second only in the county in that category to Neshannock’s Ernie Burkes (21.1 ppg.).
Anderson is averaging 8.4 rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals a game. He’s scored 48 total points in the two playoff games this year.
“Shawn is just a complete basketball player,” Giannotta said. “He’s the leader of the team.”
Malik Hooker, a 6-2 junior guard/forward, is next at 17.3 points, eight rebounds, three steals and 2.7 assists a game. Hooker poured in a career-high 29 points in the win at the Field House over Seneca Valley.
“He had a really great game against us at New Castle; he’s tough to contain,” Giannotta said.
Brandon Domenick, a 5-9 senior point guard and Gannon recruit, chips in 9.4 markers a matchup along with 56 3-pointers. Anthony Richards, a 5-9 junior guard, also tallies 9.4 points a matchup to go with a county-best 61 3-pointers.
“They’re one of the best teams I’ve seen in the last 25 years,” Giannotta said. “Every accolade they get, they deserve. They’re respectful and they play the game the right way.
“They’re a terrific basketball team.”
Giannotta knows the recipe to knocking off the ’Canes is the same for any school. But 24 teams have failed to execute it to this point.
“We’ll have to play almost a seamless basketball game,” Giannotta said. “We need to eliminate their runs, the 12-2 and 14-2 runs. And we’ll have to try to be really strong on the defensive end.”
(For more on the strength of Section 3, check out today’s blog on The Bounce.)