New Castle News

March 14, 2014

PIAA Playoffs: It’s ’Canes vs. Hampton — again

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The New Castle High boys basketball must go through Hampton once more.

Hampton forced a fourth meeting against the Red Hurricane by crushing Erie McDowell last night in the second round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs, 67-45, at Farrell High School.

The Talbots (24-4) will meet New Castle (28-0) Saturday in the state quarterfinals. According to New Castle athletic director Sam Flora, the game will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bethel Park.

The ’Canes are ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class AAAA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and No. 2 in the state by the Patriot-News of Harrisburg. The ’Canes have won 48-straight games against WPIAL teams dating back to a 50-43 loss to Montour in the second round of the state playoffs in the 2011-2012 season. New Castle has won 84 of its last 86 games. The ’Canes also climbed in the national rankings, moving from No. 36 to No. 34 in the USA Today poll.

Hampton is ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL and No. 4 in the state.

New Castle won all three meetings this year against Hampton, including section verdicts (58-42, 66-55) in the regular season. The ’Canes topped the Talbots on March 1 for the WPIAL championship, 55-49. In fact, New Castle has won eight-straight meetings against Hampton.

The ’Canes topped the Talbots twice last year in section play and once for the WPIAL title. New Castle also won a regular season contest in the 2011-2012 campaign before knocking off Hampton for the WPIAL Class AAA crown.

Hampton’s last win over New Castle was a 53-46 regular-season decision Dec. 14, 2010, on the Talbots’ home floor. Hampton’s other loss this year came against North Allegheny in section play. Last year, three of the Talbots’ six setbacks came against the ’Canes.

Last night, Hampton led just 25-21 at the half. But, the Talbots outscored the Trojans 26-8 in the third quarter to pull away.

David Huber scored 15 points to lead Hampton, while Ryan Luther chipped in with 14. Joey Lafko tossed in 12 markers and Collin Luther, Ryan’s brother, added 10. Collin Luther surpassed the 1,000-point plateau on a fourth-quarter foul shot.