New Castle’s Dawson Scott (32) puts up a shot against a player from visiting Winchester as the Golden Falcons’ Cooper McCoy (12) also defends and Trojan cheerleaders and the student section watch during Tuesday night’s season-opening boys basketball game in the Fieldhouse. Scott recorded a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds as host New Castle won 64-44.

The New Castle High School boys basketball team utilized a strong opening 16 minutes of play to zoom to a 23-point halftime advantage and propel it to a 64-44 victory over visiting Winchester Tuesday night in the Fieldhouse.

It was the regular-season opener for both teams. 

"It was great to get the win, get the opening-game jitters out, and find out more about our team," New Castle Head Coach Daniel Cox said afterward. "We did some good things, there's some things we need to work on, and we'll learn from this game and move on. It's nicer learning things after a win as opposed to a loss."

The Trojans took the floor for the opening tip with four players who started much of last season - seniors Sam Maddy, Caleb Grow, and Trey Miller along with junior Gavin Welch - plus senior Dawson Scott, who began coming on strongly late last season. 

New Castle never trailed in the contest, and Miller got the scoring started early with a three-pointer 18 seconds into the first quarter.

Grow hit a basket at the 6:46 mark of the period for a 5-0 Trojan advantage. The Golden Falcons didn't score until Gage Patterson notched a bucket with 5:40 remaining in the quarter to pull the visitors to within 5-2. 

New Castle then got a Welch free throw and basket, a Miller bucket, another Welch basket, and a bucket by Scott to complete a 9-0 run and zoom to a 14-2 lead with 1:50 left in the period. 

"We came out, got after them (Golden Falcons) defensively, and I thought our defense fed our offense," Cox remarked.

Two successful charity tosses by Winchester sophomore Adam Moore were answered by another Scott basket, and the host's lead remained at 12 points, 16-4.

The Golden Falcons' Brooks Burelison hit back-to-back buckets to pull the visitors to within 16-8 before the Trojans' Ethan Hinton sank a trey three seconds before the horn, and New Castle led 19-8 after one. 

The Trojans went on an 8-1 run to begin the second quarter which ballooned their advantage to 27-9 at the 5:52 mark of the period. 

During that stretch of play, Miller and Winchester's Jamison Beshears exchanged a free throw apiece before Welch and Hinton hit baskets and Miller nailed his second three-pointer of the game. 

Beshears and Patterson hit consecutive baskets to pull the Golden Falcons to within 27-13 at the 4:33 mark of the quarter. Welch was called for his third foul of the game 28 seconds later and took a seat on the sidelines for the remainder of the half. 

Not having its tallest player on the court didn't deter New Castle, as it outscored Winchester 14-5 during the latter half of the second period to grab a 41-18 lead at intermission. 

Three players did all of the scoring for the hosts during that final four minutes of the frame. Grow sank a pair of shots from behind the arc, and Colin Taylor and Maddy hit a pair of baskets apiece. 

Winchester's points during that stretch came on a Patterson bucket, a pair of free throws from Kamden Preston, and a charity toss by Mason Barker. 

During the opening 16 minutes, the Trojans shot 17-of-30 (56.7 percent) from the field to the visitors' 6-of-21 (28.6 percent), committed only four turnovers (compared to nine for the Golden Falcons), and out-rebounded their guests 17-15.

The only negative for New Castle was that it shot a paltry 2-for-8 (25 percent) from the charity stripe compared to Winchester's 6-of-10 (60 percent).

Offensively, the third quarter wasn't pretty for the Trojans. Neither team scored for almost two minutes until Patterson hit a basket at the 6:21 mark. 

It took New Castle more than a minute longer after that to move the digits on the scoreboard. Grow finally did that by draining his third trey of the night at the 5:11 mark which gave the hosts their largest lead of the game at 44-20. 

The Trojans tallied only two Scott buckets the remainder of the period. Meanwhile, Winchester got six points from Burelison and a Beshears three-pointer to pull to within 48-29 after three quarters of play. 

New Castle shot a dismal 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) from the floor in the third frame. 

Despite that chilly shooting in the third stanza, the Trojans never did appear to be in danger of losing this contest. 

A Barker bucket 36 seconds into the final quarter pulled the visitors to within 17 points at 48-31. 

But the Golden Falcons got only another Barker basket over the next 3:17 of play, as New Castle went on a 12-2 run to seal the deal.

Grow sank his fourth shot from behind the arc and Scott hit a basket before Barker got a bucket.

After that, Miller hit a basket, Maddy buried a three-pointer from the left wing, and Welch threw down a thundering dunk on a fast break to complete the 12-2 run and give the Trojans a 60-33 lead, their largest of the game, with 4:07 remaining in the contest. 

Winchester outscored the hosts 11-4 down the stretch (New Castle's points coming on a pair of Scott free throws and a Hinton bucket off an assist from Welch) to account for the final score. 

"I thought our first half was pretty good, but not as much so in the second half," Cox noted. "We started to play a little sloppy and didn't force them to work as hard on defense in guarding us. But we had such a big lead, it didn't affect the outcome of the game much."

For the game, the Trojans ended up shooting 26-of-62 (41.9 percent) from the field and 4-for-10 (40 percent) from the free throw line. In contrast, the Golden Falcons shot 16-of-40 (40 percent) from the floor and 10-for-14 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe. 

Winchester committed 23 turnovers to New Castle's 10, and owned a slight 32-31 edge in rebounding.

"I think this season we'll be a team that scores by committee," Cox said, "and not just count on one or two of our guys for most of the scoring."

For the Trojans, Grow scored a game-high 14 points to go along with seven rebounds. Scott posted a double-double of 12 points and 12 boards, Miller had 11 points, Welch had nine points and four caroms, Maddy and Hinton tallied seven points apiece, and Taylor had four points. 

"It was great to get the win to open the season," point guard Maddy remarked afterward. "I did get several steals, primarily because I was focusing on playing good defense and then getting the ball to our other players on offense. Our play got a little sloppy in the second half, and we'll need to clean that up before we play at Marion on Saturday, which should be a good test for us against an athletic team."

For the Golden Falcons,  Burelison had 10 points and five rebounds, Patterson had eight points and five boards, Moore had seven points and four caroms, Beshears scored six points and gathered a team-high seven rebounds, Cooper McCoy chipped in six points, Barker had five, and Preston two.

New Castle won the junior varsity game 66-31 and was led by Caden Blackford's 18 points and 10 from Landon Thompson. Grayden Mayer led Winchester with 14 points. 

The Trojans travel to Marion Saturday night.

"Playing a former conference team at its place brings back some memories for many of us, although it may not mean as much to our current players," Cox added. "I know we'll be tested our next three games and should know a lot more about ourselves after that."

New Castle 64, Winchester 44


McCoy 2-5 2-2 6, Burelison 4-10 1-1 10, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Beshears 2-6 1-2 6, Patterson 4-10 0-2 8, Preston 0-2 2-2 2, Barker 2-4 1-2 5, Loyd 0-0 0-0 0, Moore 2-2 3-3 7. Totals: 16-40 10-14 44.


Maddy 3-3 0-2 7, Grow 5-13 0-0 14, Miller 4-9 1-3 11, Welch 4-8 1-2 9, Scott 5-15 2-3 12, Taylor 2-4 0-0 4, Hinton 3-8 0-0 7, Boatright 0-1 0-0 0, Butler 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Blackford 0-1 0-0 0, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Frazier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-62 4-10 64.


New Castle;19;22;7;16;-;64

3-point goals – Winchester 2 (Burelison, Beshears), New Castle 8 (Grow 4, Miller 2, Maddy, Hinton). Rebounds – Winchester 32 (Beshears 7, Burelison 5, Patterson 5, Moore 4), New Castle 31 (Scott 12, Grow 7, Welch 4). Total fouls – Winchester 14, New Castle 15. Turnovers – Winchester 23, New Castle 10. JV score – New Castle 66, Winchester 31. Records – Winchester 0-1, New Castle 1-0.