The Canton/Galva Junior High boys basketball team closed out their 2017-18 season by taking down three opponents to win the post-season Wheat State League Championship.

In the three games, the junior Eagles blasted Herington 49-25, drubbed Goessel 43-23 and then finished off Little River 38-28 for the Championship victory.

Coach Reflections and Highlights:

First Round with Herington -

Junior Eagle Head Coach Adam North referenced the game with Herington by noting, “We had three Junior Eagles hit for double figures with Tyson Struber leading the way with 16, while Garrett Maltbie and Eddy Reedy chipped in 13 and 10 respectively.”

“Eddy (Reedy) did well filling in for one of our starters who was not available due to illness,” added Coach North. “The game was close at the end of the first quarter at 12-8, but we opened up the lead with a 21-2 second quarter to carry is to the victory.”

Semi-Final with Goessel -

According to Coach North, “When we played Goessel in the semifinals, Tyson (Struber) led us in scoring with 24 points. Again it was a close game in the first quarter and then we extended the lead with a 9-0 shutout in the second quarter. We did well defensively, holding their tall post player to just seven points.”

Championship with Little River -

“In the finals we played Little River and they matched up well with us in almost every position while having a great season themselves,” commented Coach North. “We knew we would have to play well to win, as it was close when we played them a couple of weeks before the tournament and since we won that game, we knew they would be motivated to get revenge.”

“We had three Junior Eagles reach double figures again, with Tyson (Struber) hitting for 13, and both Xavier (Westbrook) and Morgan (Becker) each getting 10. Both Xavier and Morgan had two three-pointers. The boys played their best game of the year in this game, executing our game plan well both offensively and defensively. Offensively, we executed our sets well enough to change their defensive strategy early, and when they changed from man-to-man defense to zone, our guards shot fairly well from the perimeter, especially after they collapsed on Tyson (Struber) inside. On defense we held their two post players to just nine points combined with our most impressive defensive achievement of the season. Another key stat was that we out-rebounded Little River 21-13, which was fundamental to winning since we played zone throughout the game and since they have some very good rebounders.”

SEASON OVERVIEW -

At the end, Coach North gave some coach reflections on the season by noting, “This was my first-year coaching at the junior high level, and I could not have asked for a better group with which to start. Prior to this year, the boys and their parents invested a great deal of time and energy to develop their skills and they entered the season with physical talent and knowledge of the game. However, the best part for me as their coach was to see their willingness to work hard all year to get better.”

“I knew it would be a challenge to motivate them to work to improve after winning, but all season they bought into our goal to make the next game our best game,” concluded Coach North. “Overall, they are an extremely coachable, humble, and unselfish group of players. Our younger players had a great season as well and pushed the older players, plus my assistant coach, Blake Thornburgh, deserves recognition for doing a great job working with them.”