CANTON - Host Canton gave Hermon-DeKalb very few options at either end of the court on Saturday night while winning the championship game of the Don Petty Memorial Tournament, 53-33.
Defensively the Bears swarmed, switched and fought through screens, limited penetration and challenged every shot from perimeter. Offensively forward Tori Daley worked the lane for nine quick points in the second quarter to spark a methodical pull-away from a 16-13 lead to a 42-21 margin at the end of three quarters.
Daley scored a game-high 18 points with nine rebounds and two blocks and was honored as the Tournaments MVP. She teamed with All-Tournament selections Kali Frank and Emily Pinckney to give Bears superb leadership at both ends of the court.
Frank (4 steals) buried threes on Bears first two possessions of the third quarter and finished with 11 points along with Pinckney who tallied eight points in the 30-13 advantage over the course of the second and third quarters.
Rachel Sanderson scored eight second half points and Natalie DiSalvo grabbed five rebounds.
Our girls really take great pride in playing defense and offensively we have five players on the floor who can hit the jumper which makes us tough to guard. To hold a good team like Hermon-DeKalb to 15 points in the first half really puts you in position to win, said Canton Coach Mike Meyers after the Bears climbed to 4-2 and handed Hermon-DeKalb its first loss after a 4-0 start.
Our girls knew we had to contain Hunter Hitchman and everyone worked very hard to do it. Hunter is just so tough. On her first three tonight I didnt think she had enough room to get it off.
Hitchman, who netted four threes, scored eight of her 15 points in the fourth quarter and complemented her lightning quick-release jumper with gliding drives to the basket. She earned All-Tournament honors along with teammate Morgan Stott who received the Don Petty Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, Katelyn Smith who paced Edwards-Knox to a consolation game win over Potsdam and the Stoners Bre Sapp.
Delaney Kerr netted six points for H-D which received four steals and four rebounds from Kasey ODonnell, six rebounds from Chelsea MacKay, four points, five rebounds and two blocks from Courtney Harrington and four rebounds by Morgan Stott.
We just didnt get into our offensive flow tonight at all and that is a credit to Cantons defense. They were outstanding, said H-D Coach Steve Morrill.
To play a quality team like Canton was a major plus for us. We just havent played that many games yet and this will really help us for the rest of our league games.
Edwards-Knox 56, Potsdam 52: In the consolation game, Katie Smith scored 10 of the Cougars 21 second quarter points and nine of the Cougars 14 fourth quarter points in a 27 point effort. Arael Scott added nine while Mackenzie Frary tallied nine including seven in the second quarter. Sara Vivlamore tallied 15 points for Potsdam. Courtney DiTullio and Bre Sapp followed with 12 and 10.
CANTON JVS WIN
The Canton JVs also displayed outstanding defense in downing H-D in the junior varsity title game. Leading the Bears were MVP Maggie Smith and All-Tournament selections in Janet Beaudin and Meredith Drury.
Zarina Hernandez of H-D, Kelsey White of E-K and Rory Sixberry of Potsdam rounded out the all-star selections. Bailey Luther led the Bears scoring in the title game with 13 points followed by Smith with 10, Drury with nine and Aida Shippley with eight.
Hernandez, Kelsi Shippee and Breanna Harrington all netted four points for H-D.