Canfield holds off Poland’s surge
Cards rebounded from Friday’s loss
By Greg Gulas
Like the old Esther Phillips song “What a Difference a Day Makes” says, the Canfield High School boys basketball team appreciates change after “24 little hours.”
One night after dropping a 65-61 decision to Lakeview, the Cardinals (2-1) were anything but road weary against Poland.
The Cardinals built up a 14-point first quarter lead, then fell behind in the fourth quarter. Canfield eventually weathered a late Poland rally to defeat the Bulldogs, 49-45 at the United Way Basketball Classic.
Kyle Gamble scored a team-high 16 points and Conor Crogan added 12 points to pace the Cardinals.
Poland’s Braeden O’Shaughnessy led all scorers with 20 points while Daniel Kramer added 12 for the Bulldogs (1-1).
“We played with a chip on our shoulders tonight,” Crogan said of the battle of Route 422. “Last year, we were up at halftime, they had a nice second-half run to win but we didn’t let that happen tonight. We kept our composure and trusted one another.
“This was a huge win for us and right now yesterday doesn’t matter,” Crogan said. “We’re just focusing on each game as they come and not looking ahead.”
Five points by O’Shaugh-nessy staked the Bulldogs to the early 5-3 advantage 82 seconds into the game, but a 12-2 Cardinals run keyed by Gamble and Brenden Bova’s five points gave Canfield a 15-8 lead.
A 10-3 run by the Cardinals to close the quarter staked Canfield a 25-11 lead heading to the second frame.
“There was definitely a lot of emotion tonight,” Cardinals coach Todd Muckleroy said. “I was concerned that we wouldn’t have enough gas in our tank after last night, but that was not the case.
“Maybe it was pure adrenaline.”
Four points by O’Shaugh-nessy and Kramer, and a triple by Adam Kassem in the second quarter helped Poland outscore the Cardinals 11-6.
“Despite building a 14-point first quarter lead, I knew that we would take a punch from them and we did,” Muckelroy said. “When we are focused on rebounding we are a good rebounding team.
“Tonight, Brent Hermann’s offensive rebound helped us in a key situation and Aydin Hanousek did a nice job on the boards, adding a couple blocks late in the game.”
The Cardinals were just 19 of 46 from the field and five of 22 from beyond the arc.
Poland was 18 of 56 from the field and four of 22 from three-point range with Canfield holding a 36-35 advantage on the boards.
“Canfield was determined, battled, had a good gameplan and were ready to go,” Poland coach Ken Grisdale said. “They punched us in the face early and it took us a while to regroup. We battled back in the second half, but I’d like to see that from us all four quarters.
“We have two games scheduled next year and tonight you saw the reason why this series should continue,” Grisdale said. “There was plenty of emotion tonight all over the place.”
Gamble said, “Friday’s loss to Lakeview really motivated us. Coach Muckelroy told us just to stay together and we would be all right.”