Akron Central Hower
Hurricanes send Colonials packing
The person with the most consecutive free throws in the history of New Castle High School basketball stood at the free throw line to shoot a one-and-one with the game tied at 50 and just 40 seconds left to play. Tom Canal drained the first but missed the second. Little did he or anyone else know that one free throw would be the deciding point in a thrilling 51-50 Hurricanes victory over Albert Gallatin in the first round of the WPIAL Playoffs.
The Colonials grabbed the missed shot, went across mid court, then called timeout with 22 seconds to play. As play resumed Albert Gallatin worked the ball for a open shot but the Canes defense stifled them nearly causing a turnover with 12 seconds left. Finally as time was ticking away the Colonials put up an off balanced shot from the right side that hit the rim and bounced off. The Canes grabbed the rebound and called time out with just one second on the clock.
New Castle then inbound the ball and the one second clicked off moving the Canes on to the second round and a date with the number two seed Upper St. Clair.
Demetrius Searcy got the Canes on the board first with one of two free throws at 7:08.
Albert Gallatin scored their first points at 6:57 and went up by one 2-1.
Anthony Harvey hit a short jumper to put the Canes back on top at 6:43.
The Colonials then hit a three at 5:30 to go up by two, 5-2.
Harvey on a drive to the hoop was fouled, which seemed to be the Canes strategy against the Colonials as the Canes were driving or putting it inside to Searcy on nearly every possession. He made both free throws tying the game at five and starting the Hurricanes on an 8-0 run, six of which were free throws. New Castle also missed two free throws during the run.
Albert Gallatin finally scored again at the 2:50 mark but the Canes then scored the next five points and led after one period 16-7.
David Richards hit a three to open the scoring in the second quarter putting the Hurricanes up by 12, 19-7.
The Colonials scored at 6:17 but Searcy answered from the paint with two to keep the lead at 12 at 5:45.
Albert Gallatin scored two at 5:28 and after a Canes turnover they hit a three at 4:40 to get back to within seven, 21-14.
Harvey on another drive to the hoop scored at 3:28 upping the lead back to nine.
The Colonials made two free throws with three minutes left in the half and then switched defenses into a 1-3-1 zone. The switch gave the Canes trouble and they turned the ball over on their next two possessions. Albert Gallatin took advantage and hit a three and one free throw and suddenly at 1:52 the score was just 21-20 New Castle.
A basket by Harvey at 1:40 put the lead back a three, 23-20.
The Colonials scored at 1:24 but Canal answered with a two at the 56 second mark, 27-22 Canes.
Albert Gallatin made one of two free throws with 50 seconds left but New Castle missed two free throws with just 26 seconds to play in the half.
The Colonials scored again with 20 left but Richards hit with five seconds to go to give the Hurricanes a four point lead at the half, 29-25.
New Castle got the ball to open the second half but they had two shots blocked during the opening possession and came away with no points.
The energized Colonials scored at 7:01 and after a Hurricanes turnover they scored again tying the score at 29 at the 6:06 mark.
Hakeem Fitzpatrick made two free throws at 5:45 putting the Canes back on top by two.
Albert Gallatin hit a three at 5:35 to take the lead 32-31.
Searcy scored at 4:35 giving the Canes the lead but the Colonials hit another three going ahead 35-33 at 4:26.
Canal scored for the Hurricanes at 4:05 tying the game at 35.
Albert Gallatin after getting three offensive rebounds on the possession scored at 3:38 to grab a 37-35 lead.
Following two Canes turnovers and a missed shot the Colonials hit a three at 2:24 to lead 40-35.
Canal made one of two free throws with 1:55 to play in the third quarter then Albert Gallatin hit a bucket at 1:43 to make the lead six, 42-36.
Fitzpatrick hit one of two free throws at 1:30 then a Canes steal led to a Fitzpatrick hoop off a feed from Canal and the Canes trailed by just three, 42-39 at 1:09.
The Colonials hit a two at the 25 second mark but Harvey answered with a three that went through the hoop as the buzzer sounded. After three quarters the Canes trailed by two, 44-42.
The fourth period didnt start out good for the Canes as Albert Gallatin scored first then stole the ball from the Canes. The Colonials blew their opportunity to increase the lead by throwing a bad pass on the fast break.
New Castle missed their next shot but Searcy finally scored for the Canes at 6:30 bringing the Canes back to within two 46-44.
After grabbing their own rebound on a miss, the Colonials then had their pocket picked by the Canes and Searcy scored inside to tie the game at 46 at the 5:03 mark.
Albert Gallatin hit a two at 4:47 then Searcy scored again tying the game at 48 at 4:27.
Richards then stole the ball and raced to other end making a short jumper in the lane to give New Castle the lead 50-48 with 3:52 left to play in the game.
The Colonials tied the game at 50 at 3:28.
The Hurricanes then turned the ball over to Albert Gallatin at 2:55 but the Colonials returned the favor at 2:21.
New Castle missed their next shot so did Albert Gallatin and the game remained tied as the clock ticked under two minutes.
A scramble for a loose ball led to a jump ball situation and the Canes kept possession with 1:47 left.
With Albert Gallatin still in their zone, the Canes held the ball just over mid-court until the Colonials extended their defense.
But at 1:07 New Castle was given a five second call and turned the ball back over to Albert Gallatin and the score still tied at 50.
The Colonials miss fired on a cross-court pass and the ball belonged to the Canes with just 56 seconds to play.
Thats when Canal was fouled with 40 seconds to go and he made the game winning free throw allowing the Red Hurricanes to play another day.
Demetrius Searcy led the Canes with 15 points and six rebounds (three offensive). David Richards and Anthony Harvey each added 11 points. Hakeem Fitzpatrick had three offensive rebounds.
New Castle was 18 of 47 from the field for 38%, 13 of 23 from the free throw line, and 2 of 9 on threes
Albert Gallatin is a perennial non-playoff team. They have had only two winning seasons in the last eight averaging only eight wins and 15 losses.
The Colonials starting lineup included 63", 63" and 68".
Albert Gallatin was Secretary of the Treasury under Thomas Jefferson and found the money for the Louisana Purchase and helped finance the Lewis & Clark Expedition. But before that he was labeled a rebel or a terrorist for his involvement the Whiskey Rebellion the 1790s in Western Pa.
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