ESPN Night Recap 2/7


Justin Byers, Author

During the Boys’ Varsity Basketball game on Feb. 7th, students from the Eye Of The Hurricane, Video Production, and NCTV News took part in an “ESPN Night.” Here is the recap of the “ESPN Night.”

It started with Joshua Hoerner broadcasting with the New Castle Hurricane Media Page during the JV game. Once that nail-biter of a game was decided, the pre-game started for the Varsity game. Justin Byers had the honor of conducting the interviews for both teams. Justin talked to Ralphie Blundo about the upcoming game. Ralphie told Justin that the key to winning the game was “Defensively because [Pine-Richland] can shoot the ball, that’s something they can do, and offensively they can score on everyone but defensively they need to get stops and hold them to less than 10 points a quarter.” Nate McKnight told Justin that they could get the win because “[Pine-Richland] isn’t a very good team and [they] beat them at their home court [last month].”

New Castle beat Pine-Richland last month with a score of 55-49.

While Coach Blundo declined any pre-game or halftime interviews, Pine-Richland Head Coach Bob Petcash told Justin that to change their 1-6 record on the road they would “just need to play better defense, defend the basket, and can’t turn it over. New Castle comes in as a great defensive team and [Pine-Richland] would just need to control the ball and put the ball in the hole.” Also, regarding the 3-game losing streak, “it does not affect the team.” Bob also said they “had a few defensive adjustments since that last time they played the ‘Canes.”

New Castle started the game with a Jonathan Anderson layup and was followed up with a 3-pointer from Boice, who hit no shots in warmup. New Castle ended the first quarter with an 18-12 lead over the Rams. Boice came alive and netted 4 3-pointers in the second quarter. New Castle’s Da’Jaun Young posted 9 points in the second quarter. The ‘Canes entered halftime with an 18-point lead over Pine-Richland.

Pine-Richland had multiple turnovers in the first half. When asked about it, Bob Petcash was quoted as saying, “everyone needs to attack the ball in the air and move without the ball.” When asked about defense, Bob told Justin that “they needed to get to their screens.”

During halftime, New Castle held a basketball competition for its students to win a Dunkin’ gift card. The only thing students had to do was make a layup, free throw, and 3-pointer in 30 seconds to win. The only person to make all 3 shots were Adam Sipe.

New Castle repeated its 22 points scored in the second quarter by posting 22 more points in the third quarter to the Rams’ 13. Boice and Ralphie Blundo made two 3-pointers each in the third quarter while Anderson netted six points in attacking.

With 6:16 left in the fourth quarter, a brawl broke out in the stands, near the student section, between multiple people where the New Castle band was and caused a “Referee timeout.” After about 2 minutes, the game resumed. Coach Blundo told New Castle News, “It’s unfortunate to have to deal with what we had to deal with tonight. We continue to work hard out at New Castle to see to it that things like that just don’t happen. That was an unfortunate incident, for sure. Our guys were a little bit shaken of course because they don’t like seeing that either. Those are their classmates; they’re disappointed, but I thought they handled coming back into the game as well as they could have.”

Bob Petcash told Justin after the game that the brawl “did not affect his team at all.”

The game finished with a final score of 71-51, with New Castle winning. With this win, New Castle won the 6A Section Championship.

According to Pine-Richland, “They did not follow the game plan, they didn’t switch screens, and it wasn’t how it they wanted it to be. It’s just hard to compete against them.” When asked about the scouting report, “[New Castle] played to the scouting report.”

New Castle’s Isaiah Boice won the player of the game and told Justin that “The win feels pretty good. Winning the section and clinching it is a lot of hard work they put in all year.” With Boice being a senior, he was asked about going pro and told Justin “baby steps, need to go to college first. Maybe I can play pro one day. That’s one thing I want to do in my career.” Boice also said, “the playoffs are looking good. You know, if we get the number one seed, we can get a home playoff game first round and put themselves in a good spot to win the WPIAL and play at the Petersen Events Center.”

Coach Blundo was asked about the moment building toward the playoffs, who is now on a 7-game win streak. He told Justin, “Of course it does. We played well, a great crowd tonight, we love our student body, and we love what you guys are doing with this whole ‘ESPN Night.’ It was awesome, so we are proud to represent New Castle tonight.” When asked about the playoffs, Blundo said, “We just need to work hard every day and see where it takes us.”

The ‘Canes will play their next home game tonight, Monday, February 13th against Berlin Brothersvalley. Tonight is also the Senior Night for all Winter Sports. The senior presentation will begin at 7:20 pm. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.