control in OT
in Battle of 224
By BRANDON JUDEH
Any player who has ever played in the Battle of 224 has probably dreamed making a big play to win the game.
Canfield’s Andrew Midgley got to live that dream Friday night as the Cardinals defeated Poland 55-51 in another classic overtime battle between the two schools.
With 1:30 left in overtime in what was a defensive slugfest, Midgley swiped the ball from a Bulldog and ran down court all alone for the decisive tomahawk jam to give the Cardinals a three-point lead.
“My adrenaline really got to me,” Midgley said. “As I was running down court I heard everyone yelling ‘Dunk it! Dunk it!’ so I went for it and it happened.”
“I’ll be honest, I was a little worried when I saw him running down court, I thought his legs may be a little too wobbly to dunk after playing so many minutes,” said Canfield head coach Todd Muckleroy. “But he got up and made the play and when you’re playing in big games like this you need someone to step up and both he and Jarret Vrabel did that.”
Midgley finished with 15 points. Vrabel led all scorers with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
With 1:27 left in the fourth quarter and Poland down by three, senior Jacob Wolfe hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 47 and after the play he was fouled, which gave the Bulldogs the ball.
They would control possession for the rest of the quarter.
“We weren’t going to give them another chance,” Poland head coach Ken Grisdale said. “We were either going to win it or it was going to go into overtime.
“Unfortunately we didn’t convert it, but I felt if we grabbed an early lead in overtime we would be able to do what we did at the end of the fourth, but Canfield’s a great basketball team and they’re very well-coached.”
Jacob Wolfe had 14 points and eight rebounds for Poland (4-2, 4-1 All-American Conference, American Division), but the senior wasn’t satisfied.
“At the end of the fourth the goal was to get a look underneath the hoop and if that didn’t work it was for me to get a shot, but I just couldn’t come through,” Wolfe said.
“Jacob puts a lot of the weight on his shoulders because he’s a senior, but he had a broken thumb up until the first game of the season, so he’s far from where he can be, but I can guarantee you he’s going to hit those shots as the season goes on,” Grisdale said.
Kyle Dixon led the Bulldogs with 17 points.
For Canfield (4-2, 3-1), Brady Clark pitched in with nine points and Cole Pryjma scored seven points including the final game-clinching free throws in overtime.