Minus their top scorer, Boardman’s girls basketball players responded by giving Canfield fits for three quarters.
But in the final frame, the Cardinals’ stifling defense limited the Spartans to two points in a 49-39 victory Wednesday.
“They are always a good team to play, they are very aggressive,” said Canfield senior guard Serena Sammarone of the Spartans (10-9, 3-6 All-American Conference Red).
The Cardinals’ latest 1,000th-point scorer said the back-and-forth game was good preparation for the Division I tournament.
“That’s something you see once you get farther and farther into the playoffs, you see more aggressive teams,” the four-year starter said.
“We were struggling a lot offensively tonight. Our defense carried us — we were very persistent. We had a lot of grit tonight.”
As did the Spartans, who are without sophomore Maria Torres who is out with a knee injury. Boardman head coach Jeff Hammerton said Torres averages 18 points and seven rebounds.
“They responded and that is what I am so proud of,” Hammerton said, noting that Spartans led 39-38 in the fourth quarter. “We just got ice cold.“
And Canfield (14-4, 6-2) sizzled.
The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.