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Poland falls in United Way Classic

December 12, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

The legendary rivalry between Poland and Canfield took center stage once again last Saturday evening at the United Way Classic in Poland.

Although this game didn't have the same late season, division deciding stakes it used to have, it didn't fail to disappoint in terms of great action. The only problem for the large throng of Poland fans in attendance was that their beloved Bulldogs fell to the Cardinals. Canfield built a big early lead only to watch the Bulldogs battle back starting in the second quarter. The Cardinals were able to recapture control late in the game and come away with a 49-45 victory.

Poland was put behind the eight ball early trailing by as many as 14 points in the first period. That quarter would be the only won the hosts would lose the rest of the day. Paced by the grand shooting of senior guard Braeden O'Shaughnessy, the Bulldogs were able to outscore the Cardinals 34-24 the rest of the night. Unfortunately, Canfield's early dominance was too much for Poland to overcome. O'Shaughnessy led all scorers with 20 points. Fellow senior Danny Kramer scored 12 points for Poland. Junior forward Adam Kassem came up with six points, but there just wasn't enough other scoring to help push Poland in front for good.

Article Photos

Photos by Mike Audi, Town Crier

Bulldogs senior guard Braeden O'Shaughnessy sinks a shot over a Canfield defender at last Saturday's United Way Classic at the Poland field-house. O'Shaughnessy was the Bulldogs' high scorer with 20 points and earlier in the week surpassed the 1,000 career points mark in their game against Howland.

Poland head coach Ken Grisdale cited the Cardinals' early success as the reason why his club couldn't keep pace.

"Canfield had a great gameplan and was ready to go," said Grisdale. "They punched us in the face early and it took us a while to regroup. We battled back in the second half, but we need to do that all four quarters."

There was much more to celebrate in Poland on Dec. 4 in the team's season opener. O'Shaughnessy scored 28 points to top 1000 for his career as Poland handled Howland 63-45. That milestone by the Bulldog senior happened in the third quarter and sent the home crowd into a respectful frenzy. Kramer came in second in scoring again with 15 points. After a horribly bad shooting first period, the Bulldogs connected on five 3-pointers to help them catch fire over the next three quarters. O'Shaughnessy hit a pair of triples as did junior Michael Cougras.

Upcoming contests for the Bulldogs will come against South Range, Girard and Boardman. Only the game with the Indians will be on the road so perhaps Poland can corral some momentum heading into January. Ironically, Girard and Boardman just faced off on Poland's home court in the opener of the boys portion of the United Way Classic. The Indians captured that game in overtime to stay unbeaten this early season. Boardman is 2-2. However, neither club seems so dominant that the Bulldogs can't come away with a couple victories.



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