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Cards defeat Poland 49-45 to go 2-1

December 12, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

A thrilling win over their archrival has the Canfield boys basketball team sitting at 2-1 to start this season.

The Canfield boys outlasted nemesis Poland 49-45 in the main event of the United Way Classic in Poland on Dec. 8. That triumph came on the heels of a 65-61 loss to Lakeview one night earlier so the confidence gained by bumping off the Bulldogs was paramount.

"It's hard (to bounce back on Saturday) when you suffer a tough defeat on Friday," said Canfield head coach Todd Muckleroy. "The odds are really stacked against you. I'm proud of our guys."

Canfield climbed out to a huge 25-11 lead after one quarter making the large crowd at the United Way Classic believe that this battle would end in a blowout. Poland had other ideas however. The host school outscored the Cardinals 21-11 over the next two periods to close to within four points. The Cardinals were able to steady the ship in the final frame and come away with the narrow victory. Being able to hold off Poland's charge was a testament to a group of Cardinals who were certainly feeling the affects of their overtime clash with the other Bulldogs less than 24 hours prior.

"Our guys played a lot of minutes (on Friday and Saturday combined)," Muckleroy said. "They were really tired, but they played a tough game against their rival. We were due to beat (Poland)."

Senior forward Kyle Gamble and senior guard Conor Crogan hit some clutch shots throughout the game and led Canfield in scoring with 16 and 12 points respectively. Senior Aydin Hanousek and junior Brent Herman each scored seven points in the win.

The Canfield kids went 5 for 20 from three-point range on Saturday, but were sizzling from behind the arc on Friday night in Cortland. Led by Crogan's 4, the Cardinals nailed 11 triples against Lakeview. Unfortunately, it was Lakeview's A.J. McClellan who had the most important three of the evening. The sharpshooter nailed a triple in overtime that broke a 55-55 tie and enabled the Bulldogs to outlast the Cardinals. Crogan and Gamble took scoring honors for Canfield with 21 apiece.

Hanousek also reached double figures with 11 points. The lack of presence on the defensive side of the floor is what Coach Muckleroy believes helped Lakeview seal the victory.

"I wish our guys could have made some stops, but (Lakeview) is a difficult team to defend," Muckleroy said. "We need to get better guarding the basketball and dealing with late game situations."

There weren't any late game situations for Muckleroy's men to deal with in their season opener at Marlington. Canfield dominated from start to finish in this comfortable 80-62 opening night triumph. Despite a couple of attempts by the Dukes to close the gap, the Cardinals never relinquished their early lead. Gamble led the way with 21 points. Hanousek had 17 points. Crogan added 15 points. Juniors Brayden Beck and Joe Bruno each topped ten points with 12 each.

This past Tuesday night, Canfield went on the road to meet New Philadelphia. This Saturday they'll play in New Castle against Butler High School. It is the continuation of a very challenging slate of games for this Canfield bunch.

"New Philly is a long trip and Butler is a very good team," Muckleroy said. "It's how our schedule panned out this year. We're purposely playing a better non-league schedule so we're tested once league games begin."



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