Perfection is not easy to come by, but the New Castle boys have been just that for 30 straight games. Saturday, the Red Hurricanes will try to cap off a perfect season against La Salle College in the AAAA State Championship in Hershey.
“A couple of times, I’m like, this has got to be a dream, this can’t be real life,” said senior Anthony Richards.
Their dreams became reality, when the Canes finally punched their ticket to the State Final with a 58-54 win over Abington Tuesday.
“As of right now, we’re worried about the State Championship,” said senior guard Malik Hooker. “But afterwards, we’re gonna have to look back on this journey, because it was just a great ride, the whole way.”
That ride started four years ago, when these seniors, bought into a team-first mentality.
“The difference between us, we have this bond together,” said senior center Stew Allen. “Since we’ve been playing together so long, we have this chemistry, this unbreakable bond that nothing can come between us.”
“We eat together, we watch film together, I mean we do everything together,” said Richards. “Everything we do, we’re a unit.”
And that unit has won 86 out of their last 88 games. Head Coach Ralph Blundo has used a steady approach all four seasons he’s been with the Canes.
“We really try not to focus on outcomes, we focus more on the process,” Blundo said. “I think that’s why we’ve been able to not slip up over the course of time.”
Despite the success on their home court, and in the State Tournament, New Castle is 0-3 in State Title games, a stat they’ll try to change this Saturday in Hershey.
“It would be pretty sweet, just to see a State Championship banner, and just to know that it would be there forever,” said Allen.
“It’s hard to do, that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. It’s hard to do, we know that we can, we know that we’re playing an excellent basketball team,” Blundo commented. “And it would be great to be the first, it would. Not just because we would be the first, but because these guys would have a State Championship.”
And for the Hurricanes, that goal is just 32 minutes away. Things get underway at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Giant Center.