With a very inexperienced team this season, the Canfield girls basketball team will have to find different ways to win games.
One of those ways is with shutdown defense. If holding a team to just 13 points in one half, like the Lady Cardinals did in their season opener against Lakeview, is any indication how they will play defensively then the young Cardinals may be OK this season. Spurred by that first-half defensive charge, Canfield laid out Lakeview, 47-36 on Nov. 28.
In the game between the two schools last season, Lakeview’s Ali Gagne gouged the Cardinals for 25 points so slowing down the Lakeview senior was Canfield head coach Pat Pavlansky’s superior plan. That plan worked as Gagne was not able to shoot the ball well the entire evening.
“We made sure we put pressure on her all night,” said Pavlansky about his game plan.
Canfield may have been able to ground Gagne, but the Lady Bulldogs were unable to manage Canfield’s Sabrina Mangapora. Mangapora, the main lady in the middle of Canfield’s lineup, mastered the Bulldogs with 21 points and four rebounds. She was joined in double figures by Abby Baker who beat up the Bulldogs with 11 points and five steals. Pavlansky’s only senior option, Sarah Vrabel, had a nice all around effort with four points, nine rebounds and four assists. It was how the entire team rallied around its lone twelfth-grader that had Pavlansky impressed however.
“A good start for a young team,” Pavlansky mentioned. “With only one senior, we are constantly gaining experience to help us throughout the season.”
One area where the Cardinals will attempt to get better is in the turnover department. The ladies left the ball behind 26 times in the season opener, but were tenacious enough on the defensive end to still earn a victory. In game two a couple nights later, the Cardinals were not as fortunate. Canfield had another 26 turnovers to give them 52 in just two outings. Canfield was also outscored 28-15 over the second and third periods to lose to Louisville, 58-47.
“Our girls played with a common purpose the entire game,” stated Pavlansky, “but 26 turnovers are way too many against a quality team. We need to do better.”
Pavlansky’s bunch did do better than their opponent in rebounding holding a 36-28 edge. A lot of the credit for the fine rebounding total could go to Mangapora, Vrabel, Allison Pavlansky and Kayla Barko who have been the big boarders the first week of the year.
Mangapora led Canfield in scoring the second straight game with 18 points. Barko brought home eight points as did Baker.
The 1-1 Lady Cards will hope to create some momentum for the rest of December in upcoming games with Cardinal Mooney and Struthers.