A big win over Hilliard Davidson enabled the Canfield girls basketball team to finish third in the recently played Gahanna Lincoln High Holiday Tournament in Columbus.
The 52-40 victory over highly respected Hilliard on Dec. 30 offset a 65-62 setback to Marion Harding a day earlier.
Jillian Halfhill was Canfield’s leading scorer in the tournament with 21 and 22 point efforts on back-to-back nights. The senior also served five assists in both games. Halfhill’s 22 points in the third place game included both of Canfield’s two three-point conversions. The Lady Cardinals led 14-9 after one quarter, but the determined Davidson team darted back in the second quarter to tie the game at 22 at halftime. After intermission, the Cardinals climbed on top and never looked back going on a 17-5 run to take a 39-27 lead into the final period. The two teams played even basketball in the fourth, which enabled the local kids to cruise to the 12-point win.
Kaitlin Kaleel had a nice all-around game versus Hilliard with nine points, five rebounds and three assists. Kendal Malsch made six points and retrieved seven rebounds. Sabrina Mangapora had a humungous rebound game with 14 to go along with five points.
Mangapora matched that 14 rebound output in the first game against Marion Harding and added a dozen points, but that was not enough to halt Harding from running out to a 36-19 lead at halftime. Canfield crept back into the contest in the third quarter behind the hot shooting of Halfhill and Cally Wollet who would end up with 15 points. The Cardinals won the third quarter 17-15 then went on a 26-14 run in the final period, but could not capture the lead.
Canfield’s third place finish in Columbus was not fantastic by any means, but head coach Pat Pavlansky had a good grade for his team’s performance and will look to use that stiff competition it faced as a springboard into the All American Conference slate.
“We played well in Columbus,” said the coach. “The toughest non-conference schedule we have ever had has hopefully prepared us for our league schedule, which begins this Saturday.”
On Saturday, Jan. 9, Canfield’s ladies battle league contender Howland at home. This past Saturday, the Cardinals had one last warm up against Beaver Local. The Cards clobbered the Beavers, 85-58 to pull to within one game of the .500 mark.
Four Cardinals captured double-figures in scoring led by Halfhill who had 19 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Mangapora scored 14 points to go with seven more rebounds. Malsch matched Mangapora with 14 points and seven boards. Kaleel killed the Beavers with 11 points. Sara Vrabel had an eight-point, eight-rebound day. Wollet went for seven points and five assists. Abby Baker and Allison Pavlansky each poured in six points.
Besides the upcoming tilt with the Tigers, Pavlansky’s girls will be running the gauntlet of games versus top Red Tier teams. Canfield plays at Salem on Jan. 13 then hosts Poland three days later. Canfield’s coach is relieved that the tough tumble through the non-league schedule is over and is determined to do well against the three-headed Red Tier monster that is around the corner.
“We are now 4-5 and ready for league play,” said Pavlansky excitedly.