Chardon opens Western Reserve Conference play at Mayfield on Tuesday and the Hilltoppers will do so with a 3-0 record and riding a lot of momentum after a 54-51 come from behind win over visiting Canfield on Saturday.
Canfield, the No. 1 seed and runner-up of the Division I St. Vincent-St. Mary district tournament last winter, led 22-17 at halftime.
“It's always good to get a win over an opponent like Canfield,” said Chardon coach Cullen Harris. “We like to test ourselves in the non-conference early in the year to really highlight some of our flaws so we know what we need to refine. It definitely helps the team’s confidence in terms of getting used to close ball games. In the WRC, there are no slouches, so it's good to get used to finishing close ball games.”
Chardon’s second half run started on the defensive end, which led to more offensive opportunities. The Hilltoppers made the most of those scoring chances.
“We picked up our intensity on the defensive end and created some turnovers that led the run outs,” Harris said. And we made shots. We made two threes in the first half and six in the second. Same looks, same offense. Shots just started to fall like we knew they would.”
Tessa Ludwick scored a game-high 22 points and Sydney Feller added 14 for the Hilltoppers.
“Tessa is attacking the hoop hard,” Harris said. “With a shooter spaced out on each side teams have to decide what they want to give up, a kick out three to kids like Josie Cremeans, Grace Bradley, Kaitlin Kobuszewski, Alexa Peters, Lindsey Nichols or Sydney Feller. They were well-coached and hugged tight on Josie, so driving lanes were open for Tessa. They didn't hug tight in Syd and she knocked down some big shots for us in the second half.”
Chardon outscored Canfield 14-9 in the third quarter and 23-20 in the fourth to pull out the win.
“The kids are buying into what we are trying to do, play team oriented basketball where it doesn't matter who gets the credit as long as we get the W,” Harris said. “At times, they're too unselfish but it's better that way than the opposite.”
Chardon 54, Canfield 51
Canfield (1-2, N/A): Sammarone 19, Coone 13, Baker 7, Veneroso 5, Rivera 3, Stanic 2, Cayavec 2
Chardon (3-0, N/A): Ludwick 22, Feller 14, Bradley 8, Cremeans 5, DiLillo 5
Canfield 11 11 9 20 – 51
Chardon 9 8 14 23 – 54
Field goals: Canfield 21/44, Chardon 18/49; Free throws: Canfield 6/9, Chardon 10/21; 3-pointers: Canfield 3 (Veneroso, Rivera, Sammarone), Chardon 8 (Feller 4, Bradley 2, Ludwick 1, Cremeans 1); Rebounds: Canfield 36, Chardon 25;JV: Chardon 46 Canfield 30