GARRETTSVILLE OH- Many people doubted the realistic ability for Garfield to win a third straight championship coming in to this season. The skeptics were not hard to find, but neither was the work ethic of the G-Men. All season long they took those doubts from the outside, and turned them in to motivation to thrive. After winning an MVAC championship in the regular season, Garfield worked their way to a district championship. Standing in their way of a third straight trophy was another reigning district champion. Liberty was hungry to get back to regionals, and they were more healthy than ever before.
Garfield started the game off quick and jumped out to an early lead. The G-Men set the tone with a couple of early threes from Laura McCoy and Zoey May. By the time a few minutes went away in the second quarter Garfield built a 16-8 lead. That’s when Liberty stepped back in the frame. Scoring 9 of the next 11 points the Leopards cut their deficit to 18-17. Garfield was able to barely hold on to their halftime lead 20-17. Out of the break it was Garfield’s turn to make a run. They jumped back ahead by ten 28-18. Yet once again the Leopards came roaring back ending the third quarter on a 9-1 run. The final push however belonged to the G-Men. Down the stretch Garfield made all the right plays. Garfield used their poise to walk away with a 43-37 win.
McCoy would not be denied on the night as she ran her way to 17 points. In her first district championship game of her career, Mandy Cardinal was also in double figures with 13 points. Zoey May put together 9 points to help out the cause.
Liberty was paced by Aaliyah Foster who tied for the game-high in points with 17 points. Cianna Smith gathered 10 points for the Leopards in her final game of her high school career. Demi Watson contributed 6.
Garfield won their third consecutive district championship and advances to the Division III regional semifinal on Wednesday. They’ll be paired up against Laurel. That game is slated to tip off at 6:00 in Cuyahoga Falls.