The Canton varsity boys basketball team probably thought it had a pretty good idea what Wellsville-Middletown was all about after watching film prior to Thursday's Class 1, District 10, semifinals matchup at Community R-6, and that's exactly what head coach Steve Lasman wanted them to think.
That meant his plan was in motion. The trap had been set. The formula was rather simple, really. Canton would arrived in Laddonia looking to find Ben Burton running things like he did for most of 2018-19, which he was tune of 19 points because that's how any coach would utilize a senior with over 1,000 career points. But, what they'd also find was Wellsville-Middletown's Clayton Ebers and Dennis Hunt running a two-man game that netted them 16 points each.
Like a late-round uppercut from a heavyweight prize-fighter Isaac Seabaugh and Mitchell Canterbury even made their presences felt with five and two points, respectively, that were very well-timed for Wellsville-Middletown, but it was working together that allowed this squad to beat Canton, 58-52.
One way that storyline played out on the hardwood was at the free throw line, where Burton was 7-for-9, Ebers went 6-for-6 and Hunt also made four of his six shots. Burton had four three-pointers, Hunt had a pair of triples and beyond that Wellsville-Middletown connected on just 10 field goals, but did go 20-for-25 from the charity stripe as a unit.
Another key to this contest was that after Canton claimed the first quarter 13-8, it was outscored by Wellsville-Middletown in every session that followed. This included 19-16 in the second, 15-13 in the third and 15-10 in the fourth.
For Canton, 14-10 overall, Ben McKenzie was one of several players in double-digits with 12 points after going 4-for-5 from the line with four field goals and Carson Birck was 3-for-4 from the line with a pair of baskets for seven points.
Wellsville-Middletown, 11-13 overall, played North Shelby at Mexico on Saturday for the district title.