A spark was needed.
The New Castle High boys basketball team trailed 21-17 after the first quarter Friday on the road against West Allegheny in a WPIAL Section 2-5A matchup.
Enter Michael Wells.
Wells, a 6-foot-3 junior guard/forward, scored 17 of his game-high 29 points in the second quarter in an 88-60 Red Hurricane victory. New Castle outscored the Indians 36-15 in the period.
“He really got us going in the second quarter,” ‘Canes coach Ralph Blundo said. “We moved him around defensively.
“He stepped up big probably when we needed it the most. I attribute that run to Michael Wells.”
For his efforts, Wells was named the Lawrence County Athlete of the Week, as voted on by the New Castle News sports staff.
A son of Michael Wells and Misty Klingensmith, Wells finished 12 of 20 from the field. He pulled down eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.
“He’s got a man’s body,” Blundo said. “He’s a smart basketball player that can really shoot it and rebound.
“He’s a versatile player, you can move him around and play him in different places. He’s a little bigger this year and he put on some good weight. He’s not as lean as he was last year. He’s learning how to play with it; he added muscle and he will just keep getting better and better.”
New Castle is 2-0 and Wells has scored 47 total points on the season.
“I think he’s learning the importance of the little things and how the details help us to become a better basketball team,” Blundo said of the improvements Wells has made to his game. “It took some time, but that’s part of the process. He’s definitely seeing some really good results because of it.”
Wells can play inside or out on the perimeter.
“He demonstrates the ability to shoot and he can play the post,” Blundo said. “That’s a great luxury to have.
“He can play on the block. He can take you off the dribble and he can score in transition. He’s a pretty well-rounded basketball player. I’m looking forward to watching him continue to grow.”