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Second-Half Surge Leads Canton to Big Win Over Liberty-Eylau At DQ Van Invitational

VAN — Canton used a 23-9 third-quarter run and clutch free-throw shooting to thwart the Liberty-Eylau Leopards, 64-42, at the DQ Van Invitational on Thursday.

Canton, down 21-20 at halftime, ran off eight straight points to start the third thanks to a four-point play by Reese Frosch at the five-minute mark. A Jared Grace three-pointer a few minutes later pushed it to 33-26, and Canton’s hot shooting down the stretch was the difference.

Liberty-Eylau, playing without injured starter Davion Hall, relied heavily on 6-1 junior Kwan Curry, who had a game-high 19 points, 14 rebounds and five steals.

Canton’s scoring was balanced across the board. Grace led the Eagles with 15 points, while Chandler Eiland and Brad Wiggins each had 13. Kelby Nixon and Ryan Anderson each tallied 12. Wiggins and Anderson combined for 18 rebounds and Nixon contributed four steals for the Eagles’ attack.

It was Liberty-Eylau’s pressure defense early that flustered Canton into 11 first-half turnovers, as the Leopards started the game on an 8-0 run, thanks to Curry’s four points and three boards.

“(Liberty Eylau) ran a bunch of stuff at us early defensively, and it was really about making a few adjustments at halftime that really helped,” said Canton coach Heath Dudley. “We talked about playing with more confidence, and made a little switch in the backcourt, and that helped as well.”

A Curry steal and dish to Lagaryn Robinson, who found Malik Sherman for a transition layup, gave Liberty Eylau an 18-14 second-quarter advantage at the 3:35 mark.

Canton went up 50-33 with 4:45 left in the game after a fastbreak layup by Anderson, and the Eagles never looked back. Canton hit nine of its final 10 free throws to seal the opening-round victory.

“I think our pressure was good in the first half, but we had to back off a little because of foul trouble,” said Liberty Eylau coach Craig Collvins. “We didn’t help ourselves enough with that early pressure because we didn’t score much off those early turnovers.”

DQ Van Invitational Basketball Tournament
Thursday’s Results
Game 1 — Athens 62, Emory Rains 57
Game 2 — White Oak 82, Rusk 48
Game 3 — Palestine 62, Carrollton Christian 29
Game 4 — Princeton 62, Douglass 56
Game 5 — Rusk 46, Emory Rains 44
Game 6 — Kennedale 77, Bullard 50
Game 7 — Canton 64, Liberty-Eylau 42
Game 8 — Trenton 84, Van 79
Game 9 — White Oak 93, Athens 71
Game 10 — Decatur 70, Van JV 39
Game 11 — Peaster 48, Crandall 42
Game 12 — Stephenville 62, Brownsboro 37
Game 13 — Bullard 60, Douglass 47
Game 14 — Princeton 74, Kennedale 62
Game 15 — Paris North Lamar 55, Glen Rose 30
Game 16 — Van 71, Carrollton Christian 55
Game 17 — Palestine 68, Trenton 52
Friday’s Games
Game 18 — Peaster vs. Stephenville, 8:15 a.m.
Game 19 — Crandall vs. Brownsboro, 8:20 a.m.
Game 20 — Canton vs. Decatur, 9:35 a.m.
Game 21 — Liberty-Eylau vs. Van JV, 9:40 a.m.
Game 22 — White Oak vs. Paris North Lamar, 10:55 a.m.
Game 23 — Rusk vs. Glen Rose, 11 a.m.
Game 24 — Princeton vs. Palestine, 12:15 p.m.
Game 25 — Bullard vs. Van, 12:20 p.m.
Game 26 — Athens vs. Kennedale, 1:35 p.m.
Game 27 — Carrollton Christian vs. Game 21 loser, 1:40 p.m.
Game 28 — Trenton vs. Game 20 loser, 2:55 p.m.
Game 29 — Emory Rains vs. Douglass, 3 p.m.
Game 30 — Game 18 loser vs. Game 22 loser, 4:15 p.m.
Game 31 — Game 19 loser vs. Game 23 loser, 5:35 p.m.
Game 32 — Game 21 winner vs. Game 23 winner, 6:55 p.m.
Game 33 — Game 19 winner vs. Game 25 winner, 8:15 p.m.
Saturday’s Games
Game 34 — Game 25 loser vs. Game 31 winner, 8:10 a.m.
Game 35 — Game 26 loser vs. Game 28 loser, 8:15 a.m.
Game 36 — Game 27 loser vs. Game 29 loser, 9:30 a.m.
Game 37 — Game 26 winner vs. Game 28 winner, 9:35 a.m.
Game 38 — Game 27 winner vs. Game 29 winner, 10:50 a.m.
Game 39 — Game 18 winner vs. Game 24 winner, 10:55 a.m.
Game 40 — Game 30 loser vs. Game 31 loser, 12:10 p.m.
Game 41 — Game 20 winner vs. Game 22 winner, 12:15 p.m.
Game 42 — Game 24 loser vs. Game 30 winner, 1:35 p.m.
Game 43 — Game 32 loser vs. Game 33 loser, 2:55 p.m.
Game 44 — Game 32 winner vs. Game 33 winner, 4:15 p.m.
Game 45 — Game 39 loser vs. Game 41 loser, 5:35 p.m.
Game 46 (championship) — Game 39 winner vs. Game 41 winner, 6:55 p.m.

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