CANTON - Saturday nights championship game of 35th annual Burkman Classic boys basketball tournament turned into a grind-it-out affair.
Canton used some stellar defense and all-purpose offensive leadership from Tournament MVP Evan LaPoint to outscore Madrid-Waddington 17-3 in he final quarter and claimed a 43-34 come-from behind victory.
LaPoint (12 rebounds) netted six of seven free throws in a 16-point effort, tallied 10 in the first quarter and provided a pretty backdoor pass to Francesco Palumbo which gave the Bears a 38-33 lead with 1:40 to play.
In the fourth quarter we did a good job on defense keeping our man off our hips so they couldnt penetrate and force us to help, said Canton Coach Bill Porter after his Bears crafted the win with a 13-15 effort at the free throw line while M-W went 6-for-21.
It was a big win for the guys. Its nice to know that battling night after night in the Central Division has helped us to get better. And we beat good team which is well coached by Aaron Jones tonight.
Palumbo finished with 10 points and earned All-Tournament honors along with the M-W duo of Jacob Barney and Zack Brock, Kaden Dandrow who led Edwards-Knox to 66-37 win over Hermon-DeKalb which was represented by Cody Merritt.
M-Ws Mike Thew received the Don Petty Memorial Sportsmanship Award to round out the Art Quackenbush All-Tournament Team.
Louden Porter also scored 10 points and Scott Wight netted a key seven points for Canton hitting a three-pointer to give Canton a 34-32 lead and converting a driving three-point play for a 43-34 lead with 24.2 seconds to play.
T.J Gagnon (8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) tallied six of his eight points in the third quarter where M-W took a 31-26 lead. Zach Brock also scored eight points and Maurice Rease (8 rebounds) netted six.
We are working very hard but the shots just wouldnt fall for us in the fourth quarter, said M-W Coach Aaron Jones.
Our free throw shooting really hurt us tonight and losing Jacob Barney to foul trouble was a problem.
E-K 66 - H-D 37: The inside combination of Kaden Dandrow (26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals) and Dan Pharoah (17 points, 8 rebounds) gave the Cougars control from the onset in the consolation game.
Jeremiah Randall tallied 10 points for the winners and Cody Merritt and Riley ODonnell combined for 18 and 10 leading H-D.
CANTON JVS WIN
The Canton JV downed Madrid-Waddington 52-41 to start a Golden Bear championship sweep. Tournament MVP Dane Ames tallied nine of his 21 points in the second quarter and Isaiah Davis and Brendan Lawrence each scored eight points.
Seth Gabri and John Lenney tallied 11 and 10 points for M-W.
Ames was honored as the MVP heading an All-Tournament Team which also included Davis of Canton, Lenny and Austin Delosh of M-W, Luke Fenlong of E-K and Hunter Woodrow of H-D.
SACKETS HARBOR TOURNEY
Harrisville won the consolation game of the Sackets Harbor Tournament. 57-55 in overtime, over Lyme.
Chris Sullivan hit two overtime threes and Nathan Weaver sealed the win with a big free throw down the stretch. Weaver finished with 26 and Brendan Best scored 13.
Troy Wilson scored 23 and Timmy Morrow added 14 for Lyme. Sackets Harbor edged Watertown IHC in the finals.