Model Of Perfection; ‘Canes Cap Unblemished Season With PIAA Title

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The New Castle Red Hurricanes joined an exclusive club on Saturday night, capping a perfect 31-0 record with a 52-39 victory over LaSalle College in the PIAA Championship Game at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. The Red Hurricanes became the 12th WPIAL team to finish an entire season with a perfect record.  New Castle is the first WPIAL team to accomplish that feat since the 1983 Sto-Rox Vikings. Of all the storied teams in New Castle’s history, this year’s squad will be remembered as the first to win a state title.

The game was a defensive struggle in the first half with the score tied 16-16 at intermission.  New Castle’s defense continued to smother LaSalle in the second half as the Explorers couldn’t navigate their way to the basket. The Hurricanes’ man-to-man defense held LaSalle to only 38 percent shooting from the field.

Senior guard, and Ohio State football recruit, Malik Hooker paced the ‘Canes with a double-double, scoring 13 points and hauling in 13 rebounds. In his typical all-around style, Hooker added four assists, three steals and two blocks. Drew Allen, a Robert Morris football recruit, tallied 13 points as well.

New Castle outscored LaSalle, 36-23, in the second half and buried the majority of its free throws down the stretch to secure the PIAA crown. The Hurricanes were 16 of 27 from the charity stripe. LaSalle was only 8 of 14 from the line.

The Explorers end the year with a 23-7 record. LaSalle was led by Najee Wells who tallied 15 points and Shawn Witherspoon who added 10.

Hempfield vs. Upper St. Clair Game Summary

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Hempfield - Monica Burns 19 pts, Lexi Irwin 17 pts, Leah Knizner 16 pts
Upper St. Clair - Constance Raftis 19 pts, Rachel Mazzie 15 pts, Madison Serio 15 pts