Lake holds off Canfield comeback

By Dan Hiner


With the postseason less than two weeks away, the Canfield boys basketball team entered the “tune-up” portion of its schedule.

The Cardinals learned a lesson in clock management in their 63-54 loss to Uniontown Lake on Tuesday as they cleaned up some issues prior to the tournament.

Canfield (11-9) trailed 55-52 with 2:58 left. But the Cardinals burned three timeouts over the next 11/2 minutes, leaving them with one timeout.

Joe Bruno’s layup cut the deficit to one point, but Canfield was forced to foul to prolong the game. The Blue Streaks (11-7) made all eight free-throw attempts to push the game out of reach in the final minute.

“When you play against a team like that, you gotta make plays,” Canfield head coach Todd Muckleroy said. “I was just talking to the coaches in the office and I think down the stretch we could have made some plays — knocked down some shots, maybe could’ve changed the game at the end.”

The Cardinals’ 3-point shooting and rebounding were also concerns for Muckleroy.

The Blue Streaks outrebounded the Cardinals 26-20. Canfield shot 7 of 21 from deep, but 2 for 8 in the fourth quarter.

“As a team we just gotta stay together, even if we’re not making shots,” Canfield guard Conor Crogan said. “They made shots. Shots just didn’t fall for us. I mean, it just went their way. We’ll get them if we play them again.”

Canfield’s Aydin Hanousek scored 10 points with seven rebounds and a block. Crogan scored 19 points for the Cardinals and Kyle Gamble scored 14.

Jakob Maranville led all scorers with 22 points and added five rebounds and three steals for Lake. Nicholas Mazzocca, Bryce Snow and Garrett Obourn each scored 11 points for the Blue Streaks. Obourn grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

The Cardinals shot 15 of 18 from the free-throw line, but didn’t go to the line in the second half. The free throws helped Canfield stay in the game, taking a 32-32 lead into halftime.

It was back-and-forth from there, with neither team leading by more than one point most of the way.

“We play Lake every year and it’s for a good reason,” Muckleroy said. “They’re a good team and a good program. We want to put ourself to the test every night.”

Muckleroy’s goal is to continue developing the bench and getting other players time will be important if Canfield wants to make a playoff run.

The Cardinals are the fifth seed in the Division II Boardman district. They will play Boardman and Alliance to close the year before hosting Salem in the sectional semifinal on Feb. 26.

“I think this year, it works out where we’re playing against three really good-quality teams here in the last three games — obviously with Lake, Boardman on Friday and Alliance on Feb. 22,” Muckleroy said. “It just so happens that’s certainly a good test and a good tune up to see where we stand, knowing full well that we’re putting our best foot forward in those three games. They mean a lot for us.”