By Matt Maher 

POLAND, OH – The Bulldogs welcomed the Canton South Wildcats to town for a high energy defensive brawl in the OHSAA playoffs!. The Bulldogs used their defense in the 2nd quarter and let their offense soar in the second half in their 59-49 round 2 victory. 


The Wildcats jumped out to a hot start with Tavon Castle and Julius Kimbrough lighting up the hardwood with a combined 17 points. Poland struggled in the opening frame and only recorded 9 points. Carmine Tukalo hit a long 3 for the Bulldogs and Danny Nittoli notched 4 hard fought points under the rim. The Bulldogs began slow and the Wildcats thought they had set the tone but boy did the Bulldogs have a huge response coming.


Poland may have only scored 10 points in the 2nd quarter but those 10 points look fantastic when compared to the 2 points Canton South was able to muster. The 2 points for the visiting Wildcats came from the charity stripe with Poochie Snyder sinking both of his shots. The Poland defense stood very tall and allowed for Tukalo to add another triple along with Andrew Todd’s monstrous three as well. 


The low scoring was left to the first half and Poland exploded with offense after the halftime break and put up 22 points to Canton Souths 13. Castle added to his already impressive night with two doubles while the other 9 points all came from beyond the arc. Carmine Tukalo unlocked and unloaded a tsunami of offense with 10 big points all from under the hoop with two of the tallies drawing fouls and allowing him to turn the 2 into 3. Todd continued to impress with two made 3’s and Oliver McCully added 4 points to his total. 


The 4th quarter saw a much tighter defensive game from the Wildcats and seemed to do a good job boxing out the Bulldogs but, while it was good, it wasn’t great because Poland still found their way around the traps and put up 18 points to South’s 17. Castle added a triple to end his night with 13 while Kimbrough entered the score sheet again with 5 more points to cap off his night with 16 points. Tukalo continued to amaze with 7 more points to finish off his team leading and game leading 23 point night. As a team Poland went 9 for 11 from the stripe and sealed this game.


While Canton South came out sprinting, Poland maintained a steady pace and then made their move near the end and never looked back as they crossed the finish line and advanced to the next round. The Bulldogs will have this big win in their back pocket as they look towards Valley Christian Academy who will try to stop the Bulldogs on March 6th in North Hill in Akron at 7:00PM.