AUSTINTOWN OH- The All-American Conference (AAC) is a perennial gauntlet year in and year out. Whether you are on the boys or the girls side, it always presents eight hard-nosed, drag-out contests throughout the regular season, despite there only being five teams. On Wednesday night, that was no different as two AAC contests went down, including a battle of the birds with Canfield traveling to Austintown to battle The Falcons on the girls’ side. 

Canfield was a shareholder of The AAC crown a season ago, along with The Howland Tigers, where Fitch brought back almost their entire roster from a season ago. Starting as most conference contests do, it was a gritty defensive battle from the opening tip. Canfield, inserting new faces into the rotation this year, goes about eight girls deep, with every single one of them having starter qualities and capabilities. 

The Cardinals defense dictated the first half, as both defenses did a great job in creating turnovers, Canfield stood out in shutting down various would-be fastbreak opportunities from Austintown. However, multi-sport athlete, Ayla Ray was dialing it in from distance for The Falcons to the tune of 11 points on the night! Freshman Kylie Folkwein also had a nice game, contributing six points for Fitch and establishing her presence in the paint for rebounds. But a full team effort from The Cardinals allowed them to extend their second-half lead to double-digits and never look back! 

Canfield had multiple scorers show up in the box score with Kate Sahlie, Carlie Harmon, and Abby Muckleroy all contributing over 30 points of offense combined. Camie Dill (Canfield) battled with Jocelyn Jourdan (Austintown) all night and both were defensive stoppers on their respective squads. However, Canfield’s Abby Muckleroy stands out as The Player of the Game with her contributions all over the court and the calming presence she establishes amongst her team with her leadership and experience. 

The Cardinals closed out the contest on a convincing run, showing quick-hands, and converting steals to points sealing their first conference win of the season 48-35 over Fitch. While Boardman captured a win in a thriller against Howland the same night, two teams hold possession of first place in The AAC with Harding waiting in the wings having yet to have a conference game. 

The win for Canfield (5-0) will now send The Cardinals to Cleveland in a non-conference matchup with Struthers (5-2), who is tied for first place in The Northeast 8 Conference (NE8), at the home of The Cavaliers in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. That contest is slated for Friday, December 16th at 2 p.m. and will be on YSN! For Fitch (1-5) they will look to right the ship against another group of cardinals, as they will host Cardinal Mooney (4-4) on Saturday, December 17th in part two of the battle of the birds!

*Contributed By YSN’s Ty Bartell