New Castle appeared to be headed toward a third consecutive loss and 0-3 start to section play after trailing host Central Catholic by 11 points Tuesday night in the final minute of the third quarter.

What followed was an improbable comeback, one fueled by the outstanding play of a coach’s son.

Ralphie Blundo scored a career-high 34 points to drive New Castle to a 72-67 overtime win against Central Catholic in a key Class 6A Section 1 game.

In a rematch of the 2023 WPIAL championship, New Castle not only got revenge but also improved to 10-3 overall and 2-1 in section. Central Catholic (6-4, 2-1) saw its five-game win streak snapped.

“I think in general New Castle kids are resilient kids,” said New Castle coach Ralph Blundo. “Even though they’re young, they also have an expectation for themselves. Real high on that list is to always keep fighting and working, and they did that tonight.”

Ralphie Blundo, a junior guard and the only current New Castle player who saw significant varsity minutes a season ago, played a big part in helping the Red Hurricanes storm back after trailing Central Catholic, 46-35, late in the third. New Castle trailed, 60-55, before Blundo connected on a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation. Following a Central Catholic turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass, 6-foot-6 senior JT Warren tied the score courtesy of a basket with one second left.

In overtime, Ralphie Blundo’s floater gave New Castle a 66-65 lead with 55 seconds left and the Red Hurricanes led the rest of the way.

“It’s hard for me to say how good he was or wasn’t. That’s for someone else to say. But he certaintly did a lot to help us win this game,” Ralph Blundo said.

Damian Harrison added 14 points for New Castle. Bradley Gompers led Central Catholic with 23 points while Payton Wehner added 14 and Vernon Settles 11.

Mt. Lebanon’s Brody Barber tries to get the ball around Upper St. Clair’s Brett Meinert Tuesday at Upper St. Clair High School. USC won, 44-39. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Other boys games

• Logan Golle’s 31 points helped Allderdice (8-2, 2-0) take sole possession of first place in the City League courtesy of a 69-39 win at Obama Academy (2-7, 1-1). The Dragons also got 16 points from Major Rainey, while Torrien Perkins paced Obama with 17 points.

• Elijah Guillory scored 20 points to lead Moon (10-2, 3-0) to its ninth win in a row courtesy of a 73-42 triumph at Chartiers Valley (6-7, 1-2) in Class 5A Section 4. Aiden Reesman added 14 points for the Tigers, who held a 42-20 lead at the half. Julian Semplice scored 15 points for Chartiers Valley, which played without leading scorer Jayden Davis.

• Colin Masten scored 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with a minute left, to help host Franklin Regional (11-1, 3-0) edge Latrobe, 66-64, in Class 5A Section 3. Cam Rowell added 19 points for the Panthers, while Latrobe (6-6, 2-1) got 23 points from Max Butler and 22 from John Wetzel.

Lincoln Park (9-3, 3-0) knocked down 15 3-pointers in an 83-33 home win against Hopewell (6-6, 0-5) in Class 4A Section 2. Brandin Cummings and Vinnie DePaula each hit five 3s. Cummings finished with 20 points and DePaula 15. Meleek Thomas added 19 points for the Leopards, 15 of which came in the opening quarter.

• Max Hurray scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to lift North Catholic (7-5, 3-1) to a 73-65 win against visiting Central Valley (7-4, 2-2) in Class 4A Section 2. The Trojans held a 27-21 scoring edge in the final quarter. Isaiah Jeter led Central Valley with 24 points and Gabe Raso chipped in 21.

• Rowan Carmichael scored 16 points and Avonworth (9-3, 3-0) rallied from four points down after three quarters to defeat visiting Quaker Valley, 61-58, in Class 4A Section 4. Joey Coyle made six 3-pointers and scored 33 points for Quaker Valley (6-6, 1-2).

• Patrick Weldon and Hayden Merchant each scored 20 points to propel Seton LaSalle (9-3, 4-0) to a 90-76 win at Brentwood (3-11, 1-4) in Class 3A Section 2. The Rebels led, 46-25, at the half. Forrest Betz led Brentwood with 25 points.

• Josh Pratt scored a game-high 21 points and host Aliquippa (6-3, 2-0) jumped to a double-digit advantage in the first quarter before going on to earn a 55-50 win against Northgate (7-3, 2-1) in Class 2A Section 1. Josh Williams led Northgate with 20 points.

Jeannette (8-4, 3-1) handed host Clairton (7-7, 4-1) its first section loss, 58-46, in Class 2A Section 3. Jayce Powell scored 16 points for the Jayhawks, who outscored Clairton, 20-10, in the fourth quarter. Taris Wooding led Clairton with 18 points.

• Nate Brazil scored 14 points and Imani Christian (4-4, 3-0) pulled away in the fourth quarter to capture a 63-46 win at Aquinas Academy (8-3, 1-2) in Class 1A Section 3. Imani outscored Aquinas, 22-11, in the final quarter. Sam Duer led Aquinas Academy with 17 points.

Girls games

• Gemma Walker scored 21 points and Natalie Wetzel added 20 to vault Peters Township (13-0, 4-0) to a 68-48 home win against Mt. Lebanon (6-6, 3-2) in Class 6A Section 2. Payton Collins paced Mt. Lebanon with 15 points.

Mars (7-5, 3-1) raced to an 11-point first-quarter lead and was able to hang on for a 45-42 win at Shaler (5-8, 2-2) in Class 5A Section 2. Cecilia Christy led Mars with 17 points and Vita Vargo added 15.

Mt. Lebanon’s Nate Girod watches as Upper St. Clair gains possession of the ball Tuesday at Upper St. Clair High School. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Three stars

* — Owen Dumbroski, Serra Catholic. Dumbroski knocked down eight 3-pointers and poured in a career-high 34 points while leading the Eagles (7-5, 2-3) to an 83-59 win at Riverview (5-6, 0-4) in Class 2A Section 3.

** — Mykel Bruce-McCrommon, Gateway. A sophomore, Bruce-McCrommon tallied a game-high 19 points to help Gateway (10-1, 3-0) claim its ninth win a row, 64-57, against visiting Kiski Area (8-4, 0-2) in Class 5A Section 3.

* — Keegan Smetanka, Shaler. Smetanka helped Shaler rebound from its first loss by scoring a game-high 19 points to lead the Titans (12-1, 2-1) to a 63-52 home win against Penn Hills (6-4, 1-2) in Class 5A Section 2.

Hot from deep

Players with 3 or more 3-pointers: Owen Dumbroski, Serra Catholic, 8; Drew Gordon, Hempfield, 6; Bobby Fadden, Mohawk, 6; Joey Coyle, Quaker Valley, 6; Sam Duer, Aquinas Academy, 5; Isaiah Jeter, Central Valley, 5; Gabe Raso, Central Valley, 5; Jake Rynd, Neshannock, 5; Mario Csukas, Norwin, 5; Anthony Arlia, Avonworth, 3; Eden Schleis, Avonworth, 3; Mason Hopper, Mohawk, 3; Drake Fox, Riverside, 3; Andrew Omasits, Seneca Valley, 3.

Boys scores

Aliquippa 55, Northgate 50

Allderdice 69, Obama Academy 39

Avonworth 61, Quaker Valley 58

Baldwin 74, Norwin 53

Bethel Park 66, Connellsville 28

Canon-McMillan 52, Hempfield 46

Fox Chapel 50, Armstrong 38

Franklin Regional 66, Latrobe 64

Gateway 64, Kiski Area 57

Hampton 63, Freeport 31

Highlands 78, Greensburg Salem 64

Imani Christian 63, Aquinas Academy 46

Jeannette 58, Clairton 46

Jefferson-Morgan 54, California 47

Knoch 60, Indiana 42

Lincoln Park 83, Hopewell 33

Mohawk 79, Riverside 47

Montour 77, East Allegheny 29

Moon 73, Chartiers Valley 42

Neighborhood Academy 54, Hillel Academy 29

Neshannock 68, New Brighton 15

New Castle 72, Central Catholic 67 (OT)

North Catholic 73, Central Valley 65

North Hills 61, West Allegheny 53

Peters Township 84, Ringgold 35

Pine-Richland 58, Seneca Valley 43

Rochester 56, Carlynton 51

St. Joseph 56, Summit Academy 39

Seton LaSalle 90, Brentwood 76

South Allegheny 70, West Mifflin 57

Upper St. Clair 44, Mt. Lebanon 39

Washington 69, Waynesburg 46

Winchester Thurston 56, Nazareth Prep 52

Girls scores

Avonworth 53, Freedom 42

Canon-McMillan 58, Baldwin 34

Mars 45, Shaler 42

North Hills 49, New Castle 16

Peters Township 68, Mt. Lebanon 48

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at