Red Devils hang on in thriller

Staff photo / Brian Yauger Campbell Memorial’s Xavion Leonard (23) goes up for a shot over LaBrae’s Blake Kahnell (21) Friday night.

LEAVITTSBURG — LaBrae certainly didn’t make it easy on them, but Campbell was able to fend off a fierce Viking rally to win its 10th-straight game in a 76-68 overtime thriller.

The Red Devils held a solid lead for a majority of the game, but LaBrae stormed back in the fourth quarter, capping it off with a last-second 3-pointer by Jay McGarry to tie the game at 65-all.

“We were up 11 in the fourth and just credit to them because they never stopped fighting,” Campbell coach Nick Canterino said. “We knew they weren’t going to stop fighting. They did the same thing to Bristol last week. We’ve got some young guys in there and then hopefully we’ll learn from this. I thought we made some mistakes down the road and I’ve got to give them credit for capitalizing on those mistakes.”

The Red Devils went on to outscore the Vikings 11-3 in the extra frame to get the win. Canterino mentioned that Friday’s victory was the first time a team he’s coached beat the Vikings on their home court.

“Once you go to overtime, you’re kind of sitting there like ‘Are we gonna panic because we blew that big lead? How are we gonna come out? Then we got an easy layup and we got a 3 that really started us off strong and kind of settled us down.”

Kevin Moore had another great game for Campbell, tallying 26 points on the night. Freshman Deshaun Will scored 14 and both senior Xavion Leonard and Kayvon Moore each had 10

“Credit to us, our senior leaders, freshmen stepping up, the sky’s the limit for us,” Canterino said. “I was impressed with LaBrae and how they fought back and all that kind of stuff, they put the pressure on us.”

Despite outscoring the Red Devils 17-6 in the final frame and forcing overtime, LaBrae was unable to ride that momentum into overtime. Campbell ended up getting the best of them in the end, but LaBrae coach Chad Kiser was happy with the resilience and effort his team showed.

“We knew coming in that they’re one of, if not the best teams in our area,” Kiser said. “They have a really nice team. They play hard on both ends. I love their effort and the way they play and I thought we matched that effort tonight. It was a great high school game, but we gave up runs there in the first half where we just turned the ball over.

“We don’t see that kind of pressure. … We have a lot of ball handlers, but their length and speed and they just stay with it. That cost us a few times. We were tentative in the first half. Then we started really getting started to get to the basket, which really made a difference.”

Once they started driving to the hoop, things were going better for LaBrae (10-3, 7-2). The Red Devils just happened to have an answer for each possession the Vikings had. The first half was a nonstop back-and-forth with each team trading shots.

Tre’Von Drake led the Vikings with 22 points. The inside man, Blake Kahnell, tacked on 11.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Red Devils (14-1, 8-0) as they host Austintown Fitch tonight at 7 p.m. The Falcons are also on a back-to-back after beating Canfield with a last-second half court buzzer beater.

“We know it’s going to be a dogfight,” Canterino said.

LaBrae hosts two league opponents this upcoming week as they welcome Brookfield on Tuesday and Liberty on Friday.

The teams face off once again in a couple weeks on Feb. 15 at the Memorial Fieldhouse.



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