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Updated 12/08/01

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Warren Harding

New Castle nearly ripe for Plum

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Tuesday Dec. 11 @ Pine-Richland

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A small group of Hurricanes’ fans made the trip to Ambridge to watch the Canes take on Plum (2-1) in the final game of a days worth of basketball called the "Blockparty." After several big wins over high powered opponents the fans and maybe the players thought playing Plum would be like eating pudding. But all of those who stayed away nearly missed the Canes first loss of the season.

Although the feeling of impending doom was not prevalent due to the lack of overwhelming talent on the Plum side. The game was not put away until Hoover Gibson grabbed a missed Mustang shot with just 46 seconds to play. Even then is wasn’t iced until Mark DeMonaco hit two free throws with just 19 seconds left allowing for the final score of 54-48.

Dante Spino started out by scoring the Canes first six points to give New Castle a 6-0 lead. But the Canes quickly found out Plum was going to give their best effort to knock of the highly ranked Hurricanes.

A ‘three’ and a 'two' by Plum and the score was 6-5 with four minutes gone.

Dom Joseph then scored back to back buckets and the Canes’ lead was 10-5.

Plum then ran off six straight points fueled by a Canes’ miss and a turnover to grab the lead 11-10 with 1:19 left in the first.

Chris Cain and Ralph Currie each hit a bucket to give New Castle a three point lead but the Mustangs made two free throws with no time left to get back to within one after one quarter, 14-13.

Spino made his three shots in the period but the rest of the Canes were just four of 10 from the field and one of three from the line. Despite causing five turnovers in the quarter the Canes were unable to pull away from the Mustangs.

The second period opened with a ‘three’ from Spino then the Canes turned up the defensive pressure and things started to look better. Plum made only one field goal in the period and that wasn’t until there was just 1:29 left in the half, along with five free throws. New Castle got two buckets each from Joseph and Joe Carter and seven points from Spino to open up a 10 point half-time lead, 31-21.

Plum opened the scoring in the third and Gibson answered for the Canes at 7:02. Then neither team scored again for the nearly two and a half minutes as the Canes missed on three straight trips down the floor. Joseph’s bucket broke the drought and gave the Canes a 13 point lead at 4:48.

The Mustangs then outscored the Hurricanes 10-5 over the remainder of the quarter. Plum’s run was fueled by three offensive fouls by the Canes and two more missed shots.

After three periods Hurricanes’ lead was seven 40-33, but the Canes weren’t playing very well.

Plum scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to get within three, 40-37 before Carter scored at 6:03. A ‘three’ and a free throw by the Mustangs and the Canes lead was just one with 4:59 to play and Plum was tasting upset.

Joseph who had been sidelined by foul trouble answered quickly by scoring at 4:48 and then grabbed a big rebound on Plum’s next missed shot.

Spino made two free throws to extend the lead to five at 3:34.

The teams exchanged turnovers before Cain broke loose for a fast break basket and the Canes lead was seven. Spino then made two more free throws and everyone was breathing a little easier.

Plum scored again but Gibson answered to keep the lead at nine. The Mustangs made one of two free throw but got their own rebound. Their next shot was missed and Gibson grabbed the rebound with 46 ticks left on the clock.

The Mustangs made another free throw and a ‘three’ as time expired but the Canes had already put it away on DeMonaco’s free throws.

Too close for comfort but not all teams are as easy as Warren Harding.

Dante Spino led the Canes with 18 points while Dom Joseph added 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. DeMarco made four of five free throws and is now 27 of 30 for the season. Hoover Gibson pulled down eight rebounds.


    Name FG FTA FTM 3's TP
    Joseph 6 1 0 0 12
    DeMonaco 1 5 4 1 7
    Spino 6 5 5 1 18
    Gibson 2 1 0 0 4
    Carter 3 2 1 0 7


    2 0 0 0 4
    Currie 1 0 0 0 2
    Totals 21 14 10 2 54


      score @ quarters 1 2 3 4
      Plum 13 21 33 48
      New Castle 14 31 40 54

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