CANTON — With just under 2 minutes to play on Friday and her team trailing by two, Canton-Galva’s Katie Fiedler stepped over the line on a free throw attempt, resulting in a violation.
She didn’t make the same mistake twice.
Fiedler watched her feet with 2 seconds left in the game, making a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 42-40 victory over tough-luck Elyria Christian School, which continues to experience heartbreak in close, last-minute losses.
Fiedler’s speed enabled the Eagles to tie the game at 40 as she came up with a steal and basket with 13 seconds to go. Elyria Christian went for the last shot, but was called for a turnover. C-G inbounded the ball and Fiedler drew a foul that could have gone either way as it appeared the official at first had called a moving screen on her.
But she showed no qualms at the line as the Eagles won another close game.
“That wins the game for us and her defensive play was outstanding,” C-G coach Dean Scott said of Fiedler.
C-G trailed 21-16 at the half, but caught fire in the third quarter to bolt to a 33-27 lead. Back came Elyria Christian, though, as it took a 36-35 lead on a 3-point play by Melea Redenbaugh. From there, it came down to which team was going to make the big play.
Athletic Emma Ruddle, just a freshman, showed why she’s a star of the future with 15 points to lead C-G. Kelli Nightingale added 10.
Elyria Christian had good balance as Misha Redenbaugh scored 12, Melea Redenbaugh added 11 and Christin Vetter scored 10. Misha Redenbaugh just missed a double-double with 9 rebounds.
“We had every opportunity in the world to finish the game,” ECS coach Greg Fields said. “Turnovers at the end in pressure situations just killed us. We had plenty of opportunities. We had a great start (up 13-5), but gave up 17 points in the third quarter. A lot of that is not getting back on defense and giving up second shots.”
• Elyria Christian School boys 60, Canton-Galva 34 — Elyria Christian has tremendous length on defense and it bothered the Canton-Galva offense all night.
Caleb Froese, a 6-3 sophomore, scored 18 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter when Elyria finished the game on a 17-3 run.
“He (Froese) is somebody we’ve been working on all season,” Elyria Christian coach Zach Goodrich said. “If we ever get into a bind when (Tyler) Thiessen fouls out then we’re going to say, ‘we’ve got our next guy up.” When we have both of them going we’re pretty tough.”
C-G had trailed by 20 after three quarters before getting it down to 12. Elyria Christian then opened it back up.
Aiden Fields added 13 points, the 6-5 Thiessen scored 12 and energetic guard Kobe Neufeldt chipped in with 11.
“When you have that type of length and athleticism behind you, you can extend out and take some gambles with their guards,” C-G coach Shane Duncan said. “I’ve said from Day One as soon as they start to click they’re going to be a tough matchup and they’re starting to click.”
Dylan Wood, despite giving way nearly a half-foot inside, hustled to 12 points and battled hard on the boards.
“He hasn’t played since the eighth-grade,” Duncan said of Wood. “He still makes some first-year mistakes, but he makes mistakes going hard. That’s what I love about this team, they play hard to the end, there’s no quit. It would have been easy to hang it up, but they didn’t. I was proud of them.”