Live blog from tonight's WPIAL Class AAAA boys championship between New Castle and Hampton at Palumbo Center.
FINAL: New Castle 68, Hampton 53
New Castle becomes first team in history of WPIAL to win back-to-back championships with undefeated records. Wow.
10:08 p.m. - OK this one is over. NC leads, 59-36. Antonio Rudolph thre 3-pointers this half. 13 points.
But no shame for Hampton. Hey, New Castle has done this to everyone this year.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: New Castle 52, Hampton 32
9:56 p.m. - New Castle starting to run away. Antonio Rudolph and Malik Hooker hit 3-pointers. It's now 49-31.
9:47 p.m. - The speed New Castle goes from defense to offense on a turnover is tremendous.
9:45 p.m. - Two early fouls in second half for Collin Luther. Now goes out with four fouls.
9:42 p.m. - Hampton starts second half in press. hard to press NC. But why not? Have to try something.
HALTIME: New Castle 36, Hampton 22
Five 3-pointers in second quarter for Hampton. Anthony Richards on fire. Four 3's first half. 12 points. Ryan Luther leads Hampton with 10.
Red 'Canes are really tough to deal with when they get lead.
9:24 p.m. - Amazing how New Castle gets their hands on so many balls when a player drives to the basket. It's like you're playing against 20 hands.
Hampton better be careful this doesn't get away from them. It is now 32-20 NC
9:21 - And here come the 3-pointers for New Castle. Anthony Richards now has four 3-pointers, three this quarter. Then Brandon Domenick nailed one. New Castle leads 28-20 with 4:10 in half.
And I've already seen Richards patented dive for loose ball. Probably more of those to come.
9:17 p.m. - Six turnovers now for Hampton.
9:16 p.m. - Hampton switches to man-to-man to start second quarter.
END FIRST QUARTER: New Castle 15, Hampton 10
9:12 p.m. - New Castle starting to heat up. 13-7 NC. Getting inside Hampton zone some and also two 3-pointers. But Hampton gets 3 from David Huber, 13-10, NC
9:07 p.m. - 4:04 left and NC leads, 5-1 . Shawn Anderson has to go out. Blood on wrist.
9:04 p.m. - Still no score. Timeout 5:35 left in first quarter. New Castle 0 for 3, all 3-pointers.
9:02 p.m. - Under way. Hampton starts in 1-2-2 zone. Nice to have a 6-7 kid like Ryan Luther on top in a zone like that.
8:49 p.m. - Little sidelight to this game. New Castle's Anthony Richards and Hampton twins Ryan Luther and Collin Luther have played on the same AAU teams for a number of years. Now they're opponents. They played for a team in Western Pa. and then last summer played for an AAU organization in Maryland for the brother of John Miller.
8:43 p.m. - Hampton's Collin Luther has his right them taped. New injury? He didn't have it taped in semifinals I don't think.
8:41 p.m. - Nice electric atmosphere in here.
8:32 p.m. - About 25 minutes to game time. I've been informed it is now a SELLOUT. The place is pretty much jammed.
Great turnout from Hampton students. Many of them dressed up. I see Big Bird, I see what looks like Moses from the bible, I see someone with a "Sugar Daddy" yellow outfit on. Just to name a few.