And now there are four teams left
Next Game -
Today at Robert Morris University the Red Hurricanes had to face two foes. The Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils on the court and the memory of a thirty point win over these same Blue Devils earlier in the season. In their last meeting the Canes played nearly perfect hitting 13 threes in the 88-58 win on Mt. Lebanons home court. Today the Blue Devils "wanted people to see that we could play with New Castle" said the Lebos coach Joe David.
The tall (starting lineup of 60", 63", 63", 63", 64") talented Blue Devils played a hard physical game but did not have enough to topple the Hurricanes. New Castle took the lead on a Mark DeMonaco basket to open the game and never trailed, leading by 10 after one period and leading by as much as 18 during the second quarter. Mt. Lebanon did get as close as 11 midway through the third period and again in the fourth but the Canes responded each time to the Mt. Lebanon threat and came away with the 60-44 victory earning a place in the PIAA final four and the western finals.
Mark DeMonaco hit the first two baskets for the Canes to put New Castle up 4-0.
A Mt. Lebanon basket at 6:43 got the Blue Devils on the board.
Dante Spino then hit a three at 5:50 to make it 7-2 Hurricanes.
Neither team could hit a basket on their next three possessions until Mt. Lebanon scored at 3:17.
DeMonaco then hit the first of his five threes to give the Red Hurricanes a 10-4 lead at 3:01.
A three point play by the Blue Devils got them back to within three, 10-7.
New Castle then went on an 8-1 spurt to end the period and they lead 18-8 after one.
Mt. Lebanon had possession to open the second quarter but turned the ball over to the Canes. New Castle missed their next shot and Mt. Lebanon got the rebound.
The Lebos had multiple unsuccessful shots at the hoop on this possession until the Canes finally stole the ball.
Neither team had scored through the first nearly three minutes of the period and the Canes extended the drought by turning it over to the Blue Devils at the 5:10 mark.
New Castle quickly stole the ball back and Hoover Gibson finally scored the first points of the period at 4:40 and was fouled. He made the free throw putting the Canes up 21-8.
DeMonaco hit a three at 3:52 to further extend the lead and a Gibson put-back at 3:12 gave the Canes their biggest lead, 26-8.
Mt. Lebanon scored five straight to close within 13 but DeMonaco hit another three with just 1.7 seconds left in the half to put the lead at 16 at intermission.
The Blue Devils played a 1-3-1 zone the entire first half and the Canes hit five threes against it, four by DeMonaco and one by Spino.
New Castles first four possessions of the third period resulted in two misses and two turnovers while the Blue Devils hit two baskets to close to within 12 at 6:43.
After a Canes steal, DeMonaco got the Hurricanes back on track with another three putting the lead back at 15.
Two more straight scores by Mt. Lebanon narrowed the lead to 11 at 4:50.
Then the New Castle defense rose to the occasion stealing the ball back after a Canes miss and Gibson scored at 4:09.
The Canes stole the ball right back again and this time Dom Joseph scored at 3:56 to give the Red Hurricanes a 15 point lead again.
Two free throws and a two by the Blue Devils and the lead was down to 11 again at 2:04.
At that point Mt. Lebanon switched out of their zone to a man-to-man defense. As a result the Hurricanes sprinted to a 9-5 spurt as the quarter ended. New Castle lead by 15 after three periods, 45-30.
The Blue Devils scored the first points of the final frame but Joseph responded at 6:52 to keep the lead at 15.
Two straight Canes misses followed by a Mt. Lebanon three point play got the lead down to 12, 47-35 at 5:26.
A Gibson dunk at 5:11 put the lead at 14 but the Blue Devils answered at 4:56 with a two.
A Joseph put-back at 4:24 extended the lead again to 14.
The Blue Devils hit both ends of a one-and-one at 4:01followed by Joseph making two free throws for the Hurricanes and the lead was 14, 53-39 at 3:48.
A Mt. Lebanon three at 3:35 got the Blue Devils to within 11, 53-42.
New Castle missed on their next attempt but the Canes defense forced two turnovers on the Blue Devils next two possessions and Joseph scored at 2:20 to put the lead at 13.
After another Mt. Lebanon miss DeMonaco hit both ends of at one-and-one, 57-42 Canes.
A basket by Mt. Lebanon at 1:17 made it 57-44 but that was the Blue Devils last score.
Leon Ward hit one of two free throws at the 56 second mark and Spino hit two free throws with 34 seconds left for the final score of 60-44.
Mark DeMonaco led the Hurricanes with 21 points. Hoover Gibson added 14 points and 12 rebounds while Dom Joseph added 12 points, eight of those in the Canes 15 point final quarter.
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