NEW CASTLE —
New Castle’s magical run toward a state title ended as the ’Canes dropped a 67-63 decision to Lower Merion in a PIAA semifinal matchup. It was New Castle’s first loss of the season.
The Red Hurricane finishes at 29-1. Lower Merion (29-3) will now play in the PIAA title game on Saturday.
New Castle battled hard against the tall and talented Aces, but the ’Canes battled foul trouble even harder.
Red Hurricane starters were in foul trouble all night long, as both Malik Hooker and Brandon Domenick fouled out. Antonio Rudolph and Anthony Richards finished with four fouls apiece.
Malik Hooker led the ’Canes with 19 points, while Navy recruit Shawn Anderson added 17.
Syracuse recruit B.J. Johnson led the Aces with 20 points. Yohanny Dalembert followed up with 15 points.
New Castle’s biggest margin was a 26-15 advantage in the second period, but a big run by Lower Merion boosted the Aces to a 29-28 lead at the half.
The Aces relied on the power of their front line, as the 6-7 Johnson and the 6-9 Dalembert scored in close throughout the night.
It was indeed a dream season for New Castle, as the ’Canes captured their second straight WPIAL title with an unbeaten record.
The Red Hurricane will say goodbye to senior starters Shawn Anderson, Antonio Rudolph and Brandon Domenick.
Look for complete coverage in Wednesday’s print edition of The News, and on The Bounce.
NEW CASTLE —
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