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Lady Cards prep for playoffs

February 15, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

The second showdown this season between the girls basketball teams from Canfield and Poland was supposed to take place on Feb. 7 in Poland.

Due to inclement weather, however, that game was postponed and will not be rescheduled. As it turns out, Mother Nature may have been doing the Lady Bulldogs a favor. Since beating Poland 45-34 two days before Christmas, the Canfield ladies have captured 11 wins in 12 games. That impressive run has been made more remarkable by a 10-game winning streak that has the Lady Cardinals standing at 16-3 overall. Canfield is also unbeaten in the All American Conference Red Tier and has already wrapped up the conference title. The only thing left for the Cardinals to do this regular season is prepare for the playoffs.

"At this time of the year we want fresh legs and fresh minds," said Canfield head coach Matt Reel. "We are looking to improve on some of the weaker areas of our game heading into the tournament."

With such a sterling record it's certainly hard to find any fault with the way Reel's girls are playing. Canfield collected a couple of blowout wins over conference rivals Warren Harding and Lakeview to end January and begin February. Win number 10 in a row came at the expense of Ravenna on Feb. 5.

The host Cardinals climbed all over the Lady Ravens in the first half outscoring the visitors 28-18. They never looked back and cruised through the second half en route to a 56-42 triumph. Serena Sammarone scored 18 points to lead the Cardinals. Jill Baker was right behind her with 17 points.

Sammarone set the tone once again for Canfield in its 71-42 bashing of the Lady Bulldogs a few nights earlier. The junior guard scored 25 points to help keep the Cardinals perfect in the Red Tier and secure the title trophy. Grace Mangapora put in 11 points for the victors. Baker was back at it with 10 more points.

This week started off actively for the Cards as they needed to wrap up the regular season slate. On Monday night, the local ladies made their way down to Louisville to play the struggling Lady Leopards. One final conference clash with equally struggling Youngstown East took place in Canfield on Tuesday. That tilt with East was a makeup game from earlier this year. The Redbirds already blasted the Lady Golden Bears in Youngstown 64-21 on Jan. 3.

It's not certain how much Reel's kids could work on their games against two teams that don't exactly scare them on paper. One thing that is clear for the Canfield club is thanks to its terrific play since the start of the season, it has earned the number four seed in the Canton District of the playoffs. That first tournament game will be played in Canfield this Saturday at 1pm versus East. After encountering Canfield twice in five days, it's very likely that the Golden Bears will have seen enough of the Cardinals by the time this week is over.



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