The high school basketball season has arrived and most Lawrence County schools will open tomorrow.

Highlighting the slate will be the New Castle Red Hurricane Tipoff Classic. In boys action in the Classic, Perry Traditional Academy will square off against Baldwin at 6:30 p.m. and the Red Hurricane will meet Sharon at 8 p.m. at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

Last year, New Castle knocked off Perry Traditional Academy in the first round and Latrobe in the championship.

Anthony Harvey, a junior, is the ’Canes’ top returning scorer (12.4 points). New Castle finished 20-7 last year, advancing to the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.

Sharon, a District 10 squad, finished 13-13 and advanced to the Class AAA playoffs. The Tigers return three seniors — Delon Barnes (6-foot-2 swingman), Zach Revale (6-5 forward) and Robert Harrison (5-10 point guard).

On the girls side, defending Section 3-AAAA champion New Castle will meet Beaver Falls at 5. Junior Jaleesa Sams, a 5-11 guard/forward, led the Lady ’Canes in scoring last year at 17.3 points a game.

Last year, the Lady Tigers finished 15-11 and qualified for the Class AA playoffs. However, they lost four talented seniors to graduation including Marianne Selby, the Section 2-AA co-MVP and Jenna Kittner, a first-team all-section selection. Selby is now playing at Westminster College.

Hopewell will meet Latrobe to open the New Castle tournament at 3:30.

Four new county coaches will make their debuts tonight as well. One will direct a boys team and three will lead girls squads.

Willie Harris replaces Steve Antuono as Wilmington’s boys coach. The Greyhounds were 10-14 last year.

On the girls side, Joe Ricciuti takes over for Dave Sylvester at Ellwood City Lincoln. The Lady Wolverines return to the varsity level after competing as a club team last year. Frank Shugarts takes over for Mark Daugherty at Neshannock. Last year, the Lady Lancers finished 13-11 and made the Class AA playoffs, losing in the first round to Ford City.

Joe Gierlach assumes the role of coach at Shenango, taking over for Chris Mele. The Lady Wildcats were 10-11 last year.

In other boys action tomorrow:

• Shenango will meet Union in the opener and Neshannock will take on West Middlesex in the nightcap of the Neshannock Early Bird Tournament.

• Mohawk will battle New Brighton in the opener and Ellwood City will get a test from Riverside in the nightcap of the Riverside Shootout.

• Laurel will square off with Northwestern in the Cambridge Springs Tipoff Classic.

• In District 10, the Wilmington boys and girls teams will compete in the Jamestown Tipoff Tournament.

The Union girls basketball team is the only Lawrence County squad not in action this weekend. The Lady Scots will open their season at 7:30 p.m. Monday when they entertain West Middlesex in a nonconference matchup.

In girls games tomorrow:

• Mohawk will meet Grove City in the Grove City Tipoff Tournament.

• Shenango will battle the host school in the Farrell Tipoff Tournament.

• Laurel will tangle with Conneaut Lake in the Reynolds Tipoff Tournament.

• Ellwood City will meet Quigley in the Quigley Tipoff Tournament.



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