BERNE -- Canterbury came out on fire from three, but it was Woodlan who
finished strong. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers 71-67 in the 2A
Sectional 36 final at South Adams to take home the school's first
sectional championship since 1997. Here are five keys to the victory.
1. Defensive change.
The Warriors came out in a zone, but the
Cavaliers took advantage of that to start the game. Canterbury opened
the first quarter going 5-for-6 from three to build a 20-8 lead.
Woodlan switched and it was paramount as Canterbury only went 4-for-13
the rest of the way.
2. Free throws.
Woodlan had a 3-point lead to start the fourth quarter
and then Cantebury went ice cold from the foul line. The Cavaliers
missed five free throws in the first few minutes of the final quarter,
while Woodlan sank all of them late to close the game out. The
Warriors shot 78 percent from the foul line while Canterbury only hit
on 52 percent of its free throws.
Woodlan has a very talented senior class that has
helped build the program back to respectability. It starts four
seniors and a junior, so it didn't panic after the Cavaliers hot
start. Woodlan responded, settled down and came back strong to take
the lead and close the door. Compare this to Canterbury that has
freshman and sophomores playing important minutes and it makes a
difference in a sectional final.
4. Kadin Gerig's second quarter.
When Canterbury switched to a zone
Gerig caught fire. He had been held to five points in the first 12
minutes of play, but then scored eight straight for Woodlan as it
closed to within three just before halftime. He nailed two three-pointers
and got fouled on a drive. This stretch was key for Woodlan.
Woodlan wasn't perfect in keeping the ball, but
Canterbury really struggled. The Warriors had four turnovers in the
first quarter but limited it to 13 for the game. Canterbury on the
other hand had 18 in the game leading to plenty of Woodlan fastbreaks
and points. In a close game those five turnovers between the teams
make a big difference.