The East Canton Hornets split a pair of home games last week, dropping a game to Lake Center but downing Portage Trail Conference opponent Waterloo on Friday. Their win was again punctuated by a three-point barrage, led by Cody Reichard.
East Canton fell at home to Lake Center by a 57-31 score. A three-point first quarter was their undoing.
The Hornets struggled in that first quarter but matched Lake Center well after that. They tied the second quarter 10-10. They lost the third 15-11 but won the fourth 13-12, so the slow start literally killed their chances to win. In the heart of their woes was an anemic 4-of-18 from behind the arc.
Hayden Miller led East Canton, with 17 points, and Reichard added nine. Bryce Moldovan was the lone effective rebounder, with 10. Miller registered eight steals.
Coach Pado was not thrilled with his team's lack of effort:" That's as disappointing as an effort as I've seen in a basketball game tonight. Guys will either change some behaviors or I'll change some guys playing time! I anticipate a better effort Friday night vs. Waterloo and we'll need it if we want to win!"
Against Waterloo, the Hornets started slowly and trailed 16-14 after a quarter. Reichard and Pennell chipped in with treys in building a 9-2 lead but a 14-5 Viking run gave the visitors back the lead. Buzzy Fahim ended the Hornets with a two and a trey to keep it close.
Quarter two saw the Hornets rain treys. Miller, Pennell and Reichard each hit two. Freshman Jack Davis scored his first varsity basket and the hosts built a 38-30 lead by the half.
Quarter three was Reichard at his best as he notched three treys and totaled 11 points in the quarter. The Hornets also scored off the glass with Clay Libertore, Moldovan and Miller all scoring rebound baskets to build a 60-43 lead after three. The Hornets then coasted to a 72-55 win.
Reichard notched 24 points and 10 assists for a double-double. Miller had 14 points and Pennell 11. Moldovan led the team with 10 rebounds as they outboarded the Vikes 34-24. East Canton shot a sterling 12-25 from three-point range.
A much happier Coach Pado commented: "Tremendous effort tonight! We made the same number of mistakes as any other game tonight but we did a tremendous job of covering those mistakes with sheer effort and desire to win.
"We forced turnovers, pounded the offensive glass, took charges, and dove on loose balls - those are the things that win you games. We made some shots tonight but we could have shot poorly tonight and I think our guys were going to find a way to win this one - we called them out this week and they really responded. I thought they passed the eye test tonight!"