By William /

LOST SPRINGS – Making a coaching change during the holiday break, the Canton/Galva girls basketball team had just six practices with the new staff and style of play, but somehow it worked as the Lady Eagles scored their first win of the 2021-22 season with a nine-point, 34-25, win on the road Friday at Centre.

Brad Crump steps up to take the reins of the Lady Eagle future on the hardwood and with just six practices found them executing the game plan and picking up the new offensive and defensive system, found a way to make it work.

The Lady Eagles held a slim three-point, 6-3, lead by the end of the first quarter before taking an eight-point, 18-10, advantage into the halftime break. After Centre chipped a few points off the lead in the third quarter, Canton/Galva took their final quarter to outscore the home team 11-7 and earn the final nine-point victory.

“It was a great night for the girls,” noted new Lady Eagle head coach Brad Crump. “Our coaching staff had six practices to put in an offense and defense, but the girls came out and executed our game plan and did a fantastic job making in-game adjustments against a Centre team with a couple of good guards.”

Overall, the game may not have been pretty as the Lady Eagles shot just 25% from the field while Centre hit on just 15%. This gave both teams many opportunities to take advantage of on the boards and combined the two teams recorded 72 rebounds with the Lady Eagles gathering 37 of which 15 were offensive and 22 were on the defensive end of the court. Each team struggled at times with ball handling as they combined for 45 turnovers.

The pretty stuff came in the Lady Eagle offense as both Mimi Craig and Lili Espinoza hit for double digits with Craig putting 14 in the scorebook and Espinoza getting 12.

For Espinoza, who finished the game tied with Craig for work in the paint with eight rebounds while dishing out a pair of assists and stealing four passes, it was a game of bittersweet success as the junior transferred into Canton/Galva this fall after playing her first couple of years at Centre.

Brecken Pearson finished with seven rebounds while leading the team on offense with five assists.

Coach Crump concluded his first post-game reflections by saying, “It took a total team effort to get our first win of the season. Brecken (Pearson) and Sage (Toews) did a fantastic job on defense as they chased their good shooter and their point guard most of the night while not allowing their shooter to get many good looks at the basket and making the point guard work to get the ball down the floor. Offensively, our team did an excellent job of moving the ball around and getting good looks at the basket. Overall, I was pleased that we came out and got our first win of the season, the crowd energy was fantastic and that really helped us late in the game.”


Now 1-6 for the season, the Lady Eagles will have a busy week ahead as they play Burrton on Monday, Elyria Christian on Tuesday, and Goessel on Friday.


SCORING:        1          2          3          4          FINAL

LADY EAGLES  6          12        5          11        34

Centre             3          7          8          7          25

TEAM STATS:             

LADY EAGLES = FG 12/48 (25%); 3-Ptrs 3/23 (13%); FT 7/18 (39%); Reb 37 (15/22); Assists 11; TO 21; Stls 11; Blks 1; Fouls 20.

Centre = FG 6/39 (15%); 3-Ptrs 2/13 (15%); FT 11/26 (42%); Reb 35 (12/23); Assists 6; TO 24; Stls 7; Blks 2; Fouls 18.


Scoring (34 Total Points): Mimi Craig – 14; Lili Espinoza – 12; Brecken Pearson – 5; Sage Toews – 3.

Three-Pointers Made (3): Lili Espinoza – 2; Brecken Pearson – 1.

Rebound Leaders: Mimi Craig, Lili Espinoza – 8; Brecken Pearson – 7; Nicole Miller – 4.

Assist Leader: Brecken Pearson – 5; Sage Toews – 3; Lili Espinoza – 2.

Leader in Steals: Lili Espinoza, Sage Toews – 4.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Sage Toews – 1.