ELYRIA – Using strong second and fourth quarters, the Elyria Christian boys basketball team put distance between them and visiting Canton/Galva in earning a home court 52-39 victory.
With the win, Elyria Christian now stand 6-2 for the season as they prep for a pair of road games this week, going to Peabody/Burns on Tuesday and then traveling to Centre on Friday.
“The first game after Christmas break is always a tough one,” noted Elyria head coach Zach Goodrich. “Playing Canton/Galva, we knew we were going to have to be ready to go. They have had more opportunities to be in the gym and getting in better basketball condition. Coach (Larry) O’Connor does a fantastic job of putting his boys in positions to be successful, and they will be strong at the end of the season when they get everyone back.”
For Canton/Galva, they drop to 6-3 for the season as they head to Solomon on Tuesday and then get back on their home court on Friday hosting Goessel.
Canton/Galva jumped out early and took an eight-point, 19-11 lead at the end of the first quarter before Elyria powered back and outscored Canton/Galva 19-4 in the second quarter, giving Elyria a seven-point, 30-23 advantage going into the halftime break.
Canton/Galva chiseled a few points off the deficit in the third quarter but still trailed by three, 36-33 when Elyria outscored them by 10 in the fourth quarter as Elyria earned the final, 13-point win.
Elyria coach Goodrich acknowledged the early deficit when he commented, “We took it on the chin early as Canton/Galva was moving the ball well, finding open shooters, and knocking down shots. We came out a bit flat, and were not doing the things we worked on during the week of practice. We were able to weather the storm.”
“Starting off hot and went up 19-8,” explained Canton/Galva head coach Larry O’Connor. “But a few key mistakes let them back in the game. Down three going into the fourth quarter, and again hit a stretch where we did not make very good decisions with our possessions. Need to clean some things up this week in practice. Very proud of my guys as they played extremely hard and battled a very good team all the way. Excited of the potential going forward.”
Canton/Galva was led by Jett Vincent who scored 17 points while Garrett Maltbie was the only other Eagle to reach double digits as he had 11. As a team, they struggled in the paint and were out rebounded by Elyria 32-23.
For Elyria Christian, Johnny Unruh hit for 21 points while Ty Romero had 13 and nearly got a double-double with pulling down nine rebounds. Landon Schneider led the team in rebounds with 10. Caleb Laney, like Unruh had three three-pointers, reached double digits as well with 11.
Elyria head coach Goodrich concluded his post-game reflections by adding, “Johnny (Unruh) and Ty (Romero) were able to get going offensively and helped spark the defensive side of the ball for us as well. Landon (Schneider) continues to be a force on the boards for us and Caleb (Laney) was able to get going offensively for us while making some timely shots during the stretch when we were not seeing the ball go through the basket. We definitely have room for improvement. I felt that we played the game like one after Christmas break and I hope we can sharpen up with practice.”
CANTON/GALVA EAGLES at ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES
SCORING: CANTON/GALVA > 19-4-10-6=39; ELYRIA CHRISTIAN > 11-19-6-16=52.
TEAM STATS: CANTON/GALVA > 2-FGs – 10/28; 3-PTs – 5/17; FTs – 4/8; AST – 10; REBs – 23; TO – 9; STLs – 7; BLKs – 5; FLs – 14. ELYRIA CHRISTIAN > 2-FGs – 11/26; 3-PTs – 7/16; FTs – 9/12; AST – 13; REBs – 32; TO – 13; STLs – 4; BLKs – 2; FLs – 12.
CANTON/GALVA EAGLE SCORING: Jett Vincent – 17; Garrett Maltbie – 11; Cason Mastre – 5; Wyatt Collins – 4; Walker Nightingale – 2. 3-Pointers Made: Vincent, Maltbie – 2; Mastre – 1.
ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLE INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS: Scoring > Johnny Unruh – 21; Ty Romero – 13; Caleb Laney – 11; Landon Schneider – 5; James Schott – 2. 3-Pointers Made > Unruh, Laney – 3; Romero – 1. Assists > Unruh – 4; Romero, Laney, Schneider, Gavin Robertson – 2. Rebounds > Schneider – 10; Romero – 9; Robertson, Unruh – 5; Laney – 3. Steals > Schott – 2; Unruh, Laney – 1. Blocked Shots > Romero – 2.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at email@example.com)