By Staff

            GOESSEL – It was a momentous day Thursday for the Canton/Galva girls program as they not only matched the best season record in 17 seasons, they also upset top seed Elyria Christian 51-38 to put themselves in the Sub-State Championship game and just four quarters from a trip to the Class 1A Division I state tournament.

            “Elyria Christian is a really good team,” pointed out Lady Eagle head coach Brad Willems. “They are extremely well coached. We have played them twice before and they won both games even though I thought we played good enough defensively to have won but we couldn’t/t put it together offensively and they had a lot to do with that.”

            With the 13-point victory, the Lady Eagles now sit at 14-8, the best record for the program since the season of 2006-07. Canton/Galva will now battle Sylvan/Lucas (16-5) on Saturday at 5:30 pm for an opportunity to move on to the Class 1A Division I State Tournament in Dodge City beginning on March 8.

            Elyria Christian seemed to have control of the game early as they held a five point, 9-4 lead over Canton/Galva at the end of the first quarter and extended that advantage out to nine points at 23-14 going into the halftime break. Coming out of the intermission, the Lady Eagles turned the offense on and made the defensive grip tighter, outscoring Elyria 19-8 in the third quarter to pull ahead by two at 33-31. In the final quarter, Canton/Galva outscored Elyria 18-7 to earn the final 13-point victory.

            Coach Willems assessed the game by saying, “The first half seemed a lot like the other two games, but we got rolling in the second half as our defense really is the motor that drives us, and it did again tonight. We played with great energy, and we rebounded well in the second half. We hit some big shots and made our free throws, which is always huge.”

            On the stat sheet, the Lady Eagles turned the ball over 18 times, but their defense forced Elyria into turning it over 27 times while outrebounding them 26-23.

            Individually, Trinity Espinoza had the team and game high of 23 points while also pulling down five rebounds and making five steals. Brecken Pearson also reached double digits in the scorebook with 13 points and tied with Mimi Craig for the team high in rebounding with six. Adi Alcala just missed double digits with nine points as well.

            Willems concluded his reflections on the huge win by adding, “These girls battle and battle and when you work that hard it will pay off! I was very excited for the girls and I am really excited because we get to do it again on Saturday against Sylvan Lucas.”

CANTON/GALVA LADY EAGLES vs. Elyria Christian at Class 1A Division I Sub-State Semifinal’s

SCORING: LADY EAGLES > 4-10-19-18 = 51;  Elyria Christian > 9-14-8-7 = 38.

TEAM STATS: LADY EAGLES > 2-FGs – 10/25; 3-PTs – 4/14; FTs – 19/27; AST – 5; REBs – 26; TO – 18; STLs – 12; BLKs – 1; FLs – 18.  Elyria Christian > 2-FGs – 12/22; 3-PTs – 2/17; FTs – 8/16; AST – 9; REBs – 23; TO – 27; STLs – 12; BLKs – 2; FLs – 23.

CANTON/GALVA LADY EAGLE INDIVIDUAL STATS: Scoring > Trinity Espinoza – 23; Brecken Pearson – 13; Adi Alcala – 9; Mimi Craig – 4; Lili Espinoza – 1; Makinlee Hoppes – 1.  3-Pointers Made > Pearson – 2; Alcala, T. Espinoza – 1.  Assists > Alcala – 2; Pearson, M. Craig, L. Espinoza – 1.  Rebounds > Pearson, M. Craig – 6; T. Espinoza – 5; Alcala, L. Espinoza – 3; Sage Toews – 2; M. Hoppes – 1.  Steals > T. Espinoza – 5; Pearson, Alcala – 3; M. Craig – 1.

Elyria Christian Individual Stats: Scoring > Ryland Hawkinson – 21; Allie Stone – 13; Macy Reiff – 2; Raegan Hawkinson – 2.  3-Pointers Made > Ry. Hawkinson, Stone – 1.  Assists > Grace Prescott – 3; Reiff, Alexus Swenson – 2; Addison Swenson – 1.  Rebounds > Ry. Hawkinson – 7; Julia Allen – 3; Ra. Hawkinson, Reiff, Al. Swenson – 2; Stone, Prescott, Mina Aroum – 1.  Steals > Ry. Hawkinson – 5; Stone – 3; Allen – 2; Ad. Swenson, Reiff – 1.  Blocked Shots – Ry. Hawkinson – 2.

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