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Cannelton’s defense stymies Eagles

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By Trista Lutgring

CANNELTON—Strong passing and an aggressive defense helped Cannelton defeat Portland Christian 85-51 in boys basketball Saturday.

Cannelton’s tight man-to-man defense was able to shut down the Eagles’ shooting enough to allow Cannelton’s lead to open up to 20 points by halftime.

“This was one of the rare times that we actually had a size advantage across the board,” said Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett. “We finally matched up with somebody where we had the advantage and you could tell (it helped).”

Garrett said he was happy with his team's performance, especially since it was their first game in 11 days.

“The layoff did us some good. The thing I stressed to our kids was that things were going to be a little rusty early, but let’s just keep playing and work our way through it,” said Garrett. “I thought we played extremely well.”

The Bulldogs outrebounded the Eagles 55-28 with Tyler Aud grabbing 11 and Ethan Herzog 10.

“Ethan Herzog does a tremendous job on the boards . . . for a kid his size to get in there and battle the way he does,” said Garrett.

Cannelton’s lead grew to 27 points in the third quarter, giving Garrett a chance to put five younger players in near the end of the game.

“Tonight we came out and maintained our intensity and stretched the lead out a little bit to where we could get some other kids out and get them some valuable minutes,” he said.

Portland Christian hit only 21 of 68 shots from the field for 30.9 percent).

Eighth grader Trenton Scroggy led the Eagles with 24 points.

“I knew he was a good shooter, but we just wanted to come in and play our game,” said Garrett. “I wanted our kids to come in cold and react to the game.”

Aud lead the Bulldogs with 25 points. Justin Dooley added 16 points and four assists, and Cody Lawalin scored 12 points.

Cannelton will host New Harmony Friday at 7:30 p.m.