The New Castle High boys basketball team used a numbers advantage well last night.
Ellwood City Lincoln was shorthanded because of a fight in its previous game and only eight players suited up to play. In addition, the junior varsity game was canceled.
The 'Canes opened the game on a 22-0 run and never looked back in posting an easy 67-12 victory on the Wolverines' home floor in a nonsection contest.
The Red Hurricane (2-1) dropped the championship of the New Castle Tipoff Tournament 63-61 to Perry Traditional Academy on Saturday. But they put that game behind them pretty well.
"The nice thing about basketball is you don't have time to cry over any loss," New Castle coach John Sarandrea said. "You don't have time to celebrate any win either because you play a couple of nights later and that's what's good about it."
Trey McKim, Jaime Joseph, Nick Nardone, Tynan Hudson and Justin Grogan did not play for Ellwood City because of their participation in a fight during Saturday's 57-43 loss to Riverside in the Riverside Shootout. Nardone, McKim and Hudson are starters.
"We just absolutely laid down and that's real sad to see," Wolverines coach Rod Smith said. "We should have given them a better game than that.
"I don't know where the guys heads were. I don't know if it's carryover from the other night or not but we should have given them a better game than that."
Anthony Harvey scored nine of his game-high 15 points in the first quarter as the 'Canes opened a 22-2 bulge after one quarter. He also added a team-best six assists.
"This was one of those games you had to play to the standard you know you are capable of," Harvey said. "This wasn't a game we wanted to win by two points.
"We wanted to set a standard and I think we did a good job of that."
New Castle built the lead up to 37-6 at halftime and held Ellwood City without a field goal until late in the third quarter. Colton Kennedy registered the Wolverines' lone field goal of the contest in the lane, cutting the 'Canes' advantage to 51-8 with 21 seconds left in the third frame.
"It's extremely difficult to evaluate kids in a game like this," Sarandrea said. "I'm not sure what we can take from a game like this, other than it's a win."
The mercy rule kicked in with 3:53 left in the third stanza on a 3-pointer by Nick Colella to make the score 46-6. The mercy rule sets in when the margin reaches 40 or more points in the third quarter and over 35 in the fourth quarter.
Steve Lodovico and Brandon Otlowski netted three points each to pace the Wolverines.
New Castle was 26 of 56 from the field, compared to just 1 of 17 for Ellwood City. The 'Canes also forced 32 turnovers while committing just 12.
The Wolverines (1-2) will host Riverside at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a rematch of the fight-marred contest from Saturday.
"We have to get ready for them," Smith said. "That scuffle really did a lot of damage mentally.
"We need to keep our poise against riverside. If the kids blink the wrong way against Riverside they are coming out; we have to keep our heads."
New Castle returns to action at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow when it hosts Hampton in a nonsection matchup at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House. After that, the 'Canes will compete in the Beaver Falls Tip-Off Tournament on Friday against two-time defending WPIAL Class AAA champion Moon and Saturday against either Shenango or defending WPIAL Class AA and PIAA champion Beaver Falls.