Baad finish ends Eagles’ season

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By dan hiner


With nine seconds left in a Division IV district semifinal between Valley Christian and East Canton, Emmanuel Armour went to the free-throw line for the Eagles.

Armour tied the game at 50 after he split his two free-throw attempts.

But East Canton’s Anthony Baad scored on a layup as the buzzer sounded to give the Hornets a 52-50 win over Valley Christian on Tuesday at the Struthers Fieldhouse.

Baad found a wide-open driving lane on the back end of the Eagles’ defense.

Valley Christian head coach Dolph Carroll said the game shouldn’t have come down to one shot.

“[The game] was won and lost throughout the course of the game. It just happened to come down to a last-second shot,” Carroll said. “We have kind of the same thing called ‘Duke.’ We over-rotated, didn’t get the back side protected. It was a good play, but again, it’s the course of the game.

“Sometimes I think we forget little things throughout the course of the game that leads to losses. They were better than us tonight.”

Baad finished with 16 points, three rebounds, three steals and a block.

Valley Christian (15-8) dominated the boards throughout the game.

The Eagles outrebounded the Hornets 40-20, but more importantly, Valley Christian gave itself second-chance points.

Valley Christian turned 13 offensive rebounds into 14 points. Armour grabbed 11 rebounds and added four points for the Eagles.

“[Armour] has been a terrific rebounder for us all year long,” Carroll said. “He probably doesn’t get enough credit because he’s one of those unsung kids. Again, that’s what he’s been doing all year long. He’s grown, he’s gotten better.

However, the offensive rebounds came few and far between in the fourth quarter. The Eagles grabbed just two in the fourth and they resulted in two missed free throws and a missed jumper.

Valley Christian led 27-24 at halftime, but East Canton (18-7) created turnovers and got the Eagles into foul trouble early in the second half. The Hornets finished the night with nine steals.

Jamynk Jackson led Valley Christian with 16 points and five rebounds, but fouled out with the game tied at 44 and 2:46 left in the fourth.

“Jamynk always keeps us in the game. That’s Jamynk,” Carroll said.

The Eagles had trouble dealing with the Hornets’ zone defense and started settling four 3s and contested jumpers.

“That’s part of the frustration, part of the preparation,” Carroll said. “Again, that’s my fault, not theirs. They were doing what they were trying to do, but got a little anxious at times.”

Milan Square had an up-and-down game. After getting off to a hot start, he started missing open jumpers and never got back into rhythm.

Square scored seven of the Eagles’ 14 first-quarter points, but didn’t score in the second or third quarters.

He finished the night with 13 points and nine rebounds.

“This is a unique group of young men,” Carroll said. “They put the pieces together for most of the year. It’s been a lot of fun. Just a bad way to end it.”

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