By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
CANTON – In a makeup game at home on Monday, the Canton/Galva girls earned their third win of the season while recording a thrilling, two-point, 31-29 win over Solomon despite frigid cold shooting and foul issues limiting play of three starters.
After they took a four-point, 7-3 lead by the end of the first quarter, the Lady Eagles had a 10-point, 18-8 advantage going into the halftime break before they came out in the third quarter and only put two points on the board while Solomon fought their way back into the game with 12 to make the game a 20-20 deadlock heading into the final eight minutes of play.
In the final quarter, the Lady Eagles showed their grit with several starters fouling out during the final eight minutes, but still managing to hold on for the final two-point victory.
“It took all 32 minutes and every girl on our roster to get the win,” noted Lady Eagle head coach Brad Crump. “Three starters did not play a majority of the game because of foul problems. With both our bigs and our point guard fouling out, we were still able to come back and win it late on some clutch shooting by Brecken (Pearson) and Lili (Espinoza).”
Foul issues were the main reason Solomon stayed in the game as they shot 27 free throws, making 17 compared to just 13 charity stripe attempts by the Lady Eagles, making just seven.
With a roster of just eight girls, losing three starters late to fouls showed the grit of the remaining players as only three Lady Eagles scored in the game.
Brecken Pearson had the monster night for Canton/Galva as she just missed a double by leading the team in scoring with 16 points while pulling down nine rebounds. Lily Espinoza also reached double digits in the scorebook with 12 with five rebounds and Red Craig grabbed another six rebounds before fouling out.
Sage Toews, Pearson, and Red Craig all swiped three steals on defense.
Coach Crump concluded his reflections on the game by saying, “I was really proud of Emma Herrera and Audrey Fast, two players that have had limited minutes this season, for coming in and making some key plays and rebounds to give us a shot to win at the end. We were forced late in the game to pick them up full court man-to-man and my three guards did an excellent job playing smart. Lili (Espinoza) and Brecken (Pearson) never left the game and for them to be able to play full court defense late in the game while not making silly fatigue fouls shows me, we are heading in the right direction with this team. That is what we are trying to build as a program.”
The win gives the Lady Eagles a season mark of 3-13 as they prep for a road trip to White City on Friday to battle with Rural Vista, a team that beat them in the first game of the season by 13 points.
SCORING 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Solomon 3 5 12 9 29
LADY EAGLES 7 11 2 11 31
Solomon Team Stats: FG 5/40 (14%); 3-PTR 1/16 (2%); FT 18/27 (67%); AST 2; REBS 34; TO 18; STLS 10; BLK 0; PF 14.
LADY EAGLES TEAM STATS: FG 10/42 (29%); 3-PTR 4/24 (17%); FT 7/13 (54%); AST 6; REBS 30; TO 17; STLS 10; BLK 0; PF 20.
LADY EAGLES INDIVIDUAL SCORING/STAT LEADERS: Scoring (31 total points): Brecken Pearson – 16; Lili Espinoza – 12; Red Craig – 3. 3-Pointers Made (4); Pearson – 3; Espinoza – 1. Assists (6): Sage Toews – 3; Pearson – 2; Rebounds (30): Pearson – 9; R. Craig – 6; Steals (10): Pearson, R. Craig – 3; Espinoza, Toews – 2.