New Castle News


February 23, 2012

Basketball Playoff Previews: New Castle, Wilmington, Union boys

NEW CASTLE — The criticism of the New Castle High boys basketball team has remained constant all season.

The Red Hurricane is too small, with its tallest starter at 6-foot-3, and bigger teams could take advantage of the size differential.

Well, that hasn’t happened yet, and the ’Canes (23-0) need it to stay that way to advance to the semifinals of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

New Castle squares off with Mars (17-6) at 8 p.m. tomorrow at North Allegheny High in a quarterfinal matchup. One of the Planets’ main offensive threats is 6-7, 210-pound junior Josh Goetz. He’s been the muscle inside for Mars all season, leading the team by averaging 12 rebounds per game. He’s third on the team with a 10 points per contest.

“He does a bunch of different things,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said. “They run some sets through him. He can play with his back to basket and finish. They’ll use him to screen. They’ll use him around the basket if they can beat you down low, and sometimes he’ll just hang around the basket and get offensive rebounds.”

The ’Canes haven’t been fazed by bigger teams much this year. They held their own against Hampton and Montour, which each boast several players over 6-4. Blundo said part of the reason New Castle hasn’t been affected by the difference is their athleticism and attention to detail, especially when it comes to fundamentals.

“We do a pretty good job with our positioning,” he said. “They’re also quick jumpers and they’re athletic. I don’t coach that. That’s something they brought to the table. They have natural instincts to go get the ball, and because of that we haven’t been outrebounded too much in the last two years.”

Mitchell Buzard, a 6-0 junior guard, and Owen Nearhoof, a 5-11 sophomore, are the Planets’ top scorers. Each averages around 15 per game, according to their coach, Rob Camody.

Camody is a familiar foe for Blundo. The two played together at Westminster College (Camody was a senior when Blundo was a junior) and still talk regularly. That friendship won’t mean much come tomorrow, however.

“I’ve played with him and I’ve competed against him all my life — in open gym and practice,” Blundo said. “He’s a great competitor and understand great competition. It’s not something that’s ever personal. I respect him and I know I’m going up against a good coach.”

Starting for New Castle will be 6-1 sophomore Malik Hooker, 5-9 sophomore Anthony Richards, 5-11 senior Corey Eggleston, 6-3 junior Shawn Anderson and 5-8 guard Brandon Domenick.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 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

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • pickle.tiff Pickleball players return

    Pickleball season is back, but some Neshannock Township residents said have no place to play.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • cutch.tiff Pirates Baseball: Resilient Bucs looking for post All-Star surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day — if still heated — pennant race. A season after shedding the yoke of two decades of failure with a stirring run to a playoff berth, the Pirates are just another solid if not spectacular team trying to keep pace in the jam-packed NL Central.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rankin.jpg High School Basketball: Rankin responds to parents’ complaints at Sharon

    Jason Rankin is in the middle of a coaching controversy in Sharon. Albert Stovall and Tracy Austin questioned the Sharon High boys basketball coach’s strategies during a Sharon City School Board meeting on Monday.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day