Canfield outlasts Howland

Cardinals edge out Tigers in double overtime

Tribune Chronicle / Marc Weems Howland’s Gabby Hartzell, left, guards as Canfield’s Christina Rivera, right, dribbles toward the baseline during Wednesday’s game at Howland High School. The Cardinals beat the Tigers in double overtime, 68-65.

HOWLAND — After blowing a 19-point lead to the Howland Tigers, Canfield found a way to dig out a win in double overtime on Wednesday, 68-65.

After tying the game, a lot of back and forth ensued. Canfield’s Ashley Venerzo hit two 3-pointers to get the Cardinals (1-2, 1-0 All-American Conference, Red Tier) on top.

With just 7.2 seconds and the ball, Canfield found a way to tie the game at 56. Jill Baker buried a 3-pointer to send this game to overtime.

“Every time we come up here, one team is going to go ahead and the other will make a run,” Canfield coach Matt Reel said on Howland’s comeback. “We knew that they were going to make a run because they are too good of a team.”

In overtime, Ka’Rina Mallory scored twice to send it to another overtime for Howland — tying it at 62 — before Canfield won the game in the second overtime.

Tribune Chronicle / Marc Weems Canfield's Ashley Venerzo, center, drives by Howland's Kendyl Buckley, left, as Canfield's Jill Baker, right, looks on Wednesday in Howland.

“It maybe came down to a lack of experience on this team,” Howland coach John Diehl said. “We didn’t have really good defense at the end of regulation. I even called a timeout to tell the girls exactly what I wanted but they’re kids so it didn’t get done.”

In most of the first half, Canfield was finding success. Having just a three-point lead after the first quarter, the Cardinals got it going. Canfield started the second quarter on a 16-0 run before Howland’s Mackenzie Maze scored.

Canfield got out to a 30-11 lead before going into halftime up, 32-19.

“It just seemed like that anytime that we made mistakes, our girls did a good job getting to the next play,” Reel said. “I never had the feeling that we stopped thinking we could get it done. I couldn’t be any more proud of our perseverance. We’ve had two tough early opponents. I loved the way our girls responded.”

Speaking of responses, Howland (3-2, 2-1) had one of its own. Once down 19, the Tigers mounted a comeback to get the game into overtime.

Howland began the second half on a 7-0 run before a Canfield timeout. Howland then tied the game at 39 just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter.

“It takes a lot of energy to come back from 12 or 13 down,” Diehl said. “I told the girls to try and cut the score to 6 by the end of the third quarter. We just took care of the ball better. Nothing changed otherwise because we played the same defense and the same offense.”

Saturday, Howland goes to Struthers, while Canfield plays East.