‘We’ll be tough to beat’ Canton handles the Wildcats 67-56

Senior Army Football commit Caleb Williams takes the ball up the court. Jan. 5, 2024.
Senior Army Football commit Caleb Williams takes the ball up the court. Jan. 5, 2024.
Lucas Gentilia

Friday night’s game on Jan. 5, against their Park rival-Wildcats showed Canton’s red-hot offense in full form. Plymouth was outmatched by the seasoned Canton team from the start with Canton’s top scorers including Kalamazoo College commit Bradley Ezuika with 32, Senior Devon Pettus with 15 and 10 for senior Caleb Williams. 

With its strong outing, the Canton Boys Varsity Basketball team looks to overcome the previous three seasons which were snuffed out in the District Final game twice to Northville. 

The 2023-24 team is looking to do things a little differently. 

The senior-led team with senior college-committed players like Bradley Ezeuika, Caleb Williams and Devon Pettus, Canton has been relying on its offense scoring over 61 points per game.

With the win, Canton’s record has improved to 6-2 (2-0 in the KLAA West) while the Wildcats have fallen to 1-7 (0-3 in the KLAA West).

 

The Canton Student section celebrtes during the game. Jan. 5, 2024. (Lucas Gentilia)

 

Canton led the Wildcats 30-20 at the end of a very fast-paced and back and forth first half. Canton was able to get out to a commanding lead with far greater ball possession than Plymouth aided by sharp passes and cuts into the paint. Little emphasis was placed on the three-ball the entire game for Canton with only two threes on the night and zero in the first half. 

The only thing stopping Canton Head Coach Jimmy Reddy’s team was rebounding and unneeded fouls. Plymouth was able to capitalize on this with nine offensive rebounds and put-backs for multiple scores. 

Coach Reddy was happy with the win but felt his players could’ve played much better in the backcourt. 

“We’re trying to improve defensively,” said Reddy. “I don’t love the way we defended, so I’m not happy with some of the things we were trying to execute.”

In the second half, Canton came out with a fiery offense scoring in just the first nine seconds. Even with this, Plymouth was determined to take the lead back. With 5:30 left in the third quarter, Plymouth senior Zack Jones hit a three with a foul that gave the Wildcats a much-needed burst. Plymouth went on a run in the middle of the third quarter capped off with another three from Jones cutting the Canton lead to just two.  

Senior Zack Jones gets crowned by Ross Kraft during Player introductions. Jan. 5, 2024. (Lucas Gentilia)

Canton took a timeout to regroup and returned and went on a tear in the last three minutes of the third quarter with an 11-2 run spearheaded by seniors Ezuika and Williams, who recently committed to Army for football, ending the third quarter with a score of 49-38. 

 

Reddy noted senior Ezeuik’s improved play. “Bradley’s growth in the last year and a half to two years has been incredible,” said Reddy. “He’s definitely one of the best two-way players in our league [KLAA West]. 

Zack Jones and Idrys Cotton led the way for Plymouth with 18 and 12 points. 

Ultimately Reddy was happy with the win for his players, “To win, and to win on your home court, and most importantly get to 2-0 in the [KLAA] West Division, that’s big for our guys. We’ll be tough to beat.”

 Next up:

Canton takes on Salem at home at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. 

Plymouth looks to bounce back against Hartland at home at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.

Canton Boys Varisty Basketball 1/5/24
Canton Point Stats

Bradley Ezuika - 32

Devon Pettus - 15

Caleb Williams - 10

Joseph Pierson - 5

Alexander Persinger - 3

Theodore Winstel - 2

Plymouth Boys Varsity Basketball 1/5/24
Plymouth Point Stats

Zack Jones - 18

Idrys Cotton - 12

Ali Hider - 8

Cam Short - 6

Ross Kraft - 5

Kymani Smith - 4

Mack Swafford - 3

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About the Contributor
Lucas Gentilia, Business Manager / Sports Editor
Lucas Gentilia is a senior at Salem High School that loves being surrounded by friends and other energetic people. He is involved in all types of activities, including The National Honor Society, Student Council 2024, Link Crew, the Salem Rocks Baseball Team and The Perspective newspaper staff. His life isn’t always centered around school however; he is in love with music, and always has an Airpod in his ear. He enjoys artists like Mac Miller, Mac Demarco and Kendrick Lamar. In addition, he loves weightlifting, golf and watching sports in person whenever he can.

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