COCHRANTON — Cambridge Springs did enough to come away with a road win against Region 2 rival Cochranton on Tuesday at The Bird Cage.
The Blue Devils led by 16 midway through the final quarter, but the Cardinals caught fire late in the game. The Red Birds rallied to come within four points with three seconds to play, but it was too little, too late.
“I’m very proud of the effort,” Cochranton head coach Phil Canfield said. “We know they can play had, but they need to do it for four quarters.”
The defending Region 2 champions looked to have their hands full early. Cambridge was down 9-6 after the first period, but outscored Cochranton 20-9 in the second to hold a 26-18 lead at the break.
“We just have these stretches of the game where we go into a funk. We react to everything instead of being aggressive,” Canfield said. “We know how they can play if they want to, but they cant wait until their down 16 points.”
In the fourth quarter and with nothing to lose, the Cardinals mounted a huge rally in a 30-point fourth quarter.
Senior Wyatt Barzak got his team numerous second-chance attempts with six offensive rebounds. The extra opportunities resulted in 3-pointers for the Cardinals. Dominic Homhoff splashed two 3-pointers and Landon Homa converted one in the final quarter to cut into the lead.
Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to get in front of the Blue Devils. The senior duo of Nathan Held and Hunter Spaid didn’t panic in the hostile environment and guided the team to a win.
“They came through tonight and they’ve come through all season for us,” Cambridge Springs head coach Becky Leandro said. “They are the calm in the storm for us.”
Held led all scorers with 22 points and eight rebounds. Juniors Ethan Counasse and Josh Reisenauer scored 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Cambridge Springs is 5-4 overall and undefeated in the region at 3-0. The Blue Devils host Maplewood on Friday for another region bout.
“I think we did enough to get a win,” Leandro said. “We just need to win the next game Friday night against Maplewood.”
Cochranton was led in scoring by Barzak who poured in a 20 point, 11 rebound double-double. He added four steals, three assists and two blocks to his stat sheet.
The Cardinals move to 4-6 overall and 2-1 in region action. They play again today at Corry for a non-region game.
“We missed I think 12 free throws and five layups, obviously that’s the game right there,” Canfield said. “We just have to keep our nose down and keep working at it. Eventually it will come along.”
Last year’s leading scorer, Jaiben Walker, is still out with an injury.
“Our whole concept is, we hope to figure it out soon so by the last three weeks we have everything dialed in. It makes it a little harder because we don’t have Jaiben, but guys are getting chances to step up,” Canfield said. “Once Jaiben is back, we will have an adjustment period, but he is smart and has played lots of basketball so it should be seamless, hopefully its soon.”
Cambridge Springs (64)
Held 7 6-7 22, Counasse 5 5-7 16, Reisenauer 5 0-0 11, Schmidt 3 0-0 6, Spaid 0 5-6, Riley 1 0-0 3, Campbell 0 1-2 1.
Totals 21 17-22 64.
Barzak 10 0-7 20, Domhoff 4 0-0 11, Homa 2 5-6 11, Miller 3 3-4 10, Hoffman
20-0 4, Carroll 1 0-0 3.
Totals 22 8-17 59.
Cambridge Springs 6 20 14 24 — 64
Cochranton 9 9 11 30 — 59
3-point goals: Cambridge Springs — Held 2, Reisenauer, Counasse, Riley; Cochranton — Domhoff 3, Homa 2, Miller, Carroll.
Records: Cambridge Springs 5-4, 3-0 Region 2; Cochranton 4-6, 2-1 Region 2.