A big second half carried the New Castle High boys basketball team to victory on Saturday.
The Red Hurricane outscored Montour by 14 points in the final 16 minutes en route to an 81-63 WPIAL nonsection home win.
The ‘Canes (15-2) were up 16-14 after the first quarter and 35-31 at the break. New Castle took control in the third quarter to carry a 60-49 advantage into the final frame.
“I think we appeared to be in a different gear defensively,” New Castle coach Ralph Blundo said of the second half. “We generated some turnovers right out of the gate and we pushed the lead to 11 real quick. From there, it kind of hung from nine to 18 points the rest of the game.”
Michael Wells led four New Castle scorers with 25 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Sheldon Cox collected 16 markers and Isaiah Boice was next with 15. Jonathon Anderson added 10 tallies.
“When he shoots in rhythm, they’re going in,” Blundo said of Wells. “He was able to do that and he got to the cup. He was able to get to the free-throw line and he scored every way you could score.
“That kind of balanced scoring is when we’re at our most dangerous. All of our guys are a threat to score the basketball.”
Luke Persinger posted 17 points for the Spartans (10-6).
New Castle returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Monday when Sharon invades the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House. The ‘Canes close the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Friday by hosting Seneca Valley.
“There’s always work to be done,” Blundo said. “We’re trending in the right direction now.
“This has been such a different season for so many ways. Not being in school, not having fans. We’ve had different ways to motivate each other. To their credit, we’ve had our ups and downs, but the kids have really shown great resolve through all of this. There could be better circumstances, but our reality is our reality.”