Chelsea Cannon surprises a lot of opponents on the court.

Chelsea Cannon surprises a lot of opponents on the court.

The senior post player for the Johnstown-Monroe High School girls basketball team plays bigger than she is at 5-foot-9. She's also quicker than most expect and strong enough to grab rebounds away from anyone in her way.

Despite those surprising aspects to her game, Cannon really doesn't sneak up on opponents anymore. She's in her fourth season with the Johnnies and opponents have come to expect a long, bruising game in the paint when she takes the court.

"A lot of the tall girls aren't as quick as I am, but I have pretty good footwork and I'm pretty strong," Cannon said of her game. "My inside game is a strong point. I'm strong and I post up pretty well and I have good post up moves. As for rebounding, I have quick feet and I'm able to get around my opponent. I work hard to get around the defender or to get the offensive rebound."

Before last Saturday, Cannon was leading the team by averaging 12.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Of those rebounds, she was averaging 3.8 per game on the offensive end.

"Chelsea's not just a four-year starter, but a four-year committed basketball player," coach Connie Allen said. "The reason why she's a four-year starter is because of the extra effort in during the offseason by playing AAU ball and playing as much as she can. Her teammates and others in the program see that commitment.

"She's a great leader and even from the post position she does a great job of leading and communicating. Usually that's the job of a point guard, but Chelsea has those qualities. Sometimes I think she's a guard caught in the body of a post player."

Cannon might have a guard mentality. She is tied for the team lead with 2.5 steals per game along with guards Michelle Fairchild and Courtney Dingess.

"Another thing is despite her size, she's very quick up the court and laterally," Allen said. "She has that speed that you wouldn't expect her to have."

As her final high school season winds down, Cannon is already thinking about the future

"I definitely want to play in college and I've looked at a few. I like Otterbein and Ohio Northern, but I'm keeping my options open," said Cannon, who has a 4.0 GPA and would like to major in exercise physiology as part of pre-physical therapy. "Before I go to college, I definitely need to work on my outside shooting as well as on my variety in the post. Sometimes I tend to use the same move over and over in the post."

Allen said coaches have to be impressed with what Cannon has to offer.

"I think her strongest point is her work ethic. As a coach, you know even if she's had a bad day or no matter what's happening in her life, she always goes 100 percent when she comes out on the court," Allen said. "Her strength is a real asset and even though she'll be undersized in college, she's good at using her positioning to get a good shot.

"One thing she does need to work on is her outside shot and that's something we've been working on. She is good at making drives to the basket, but she just needs to be able to hit that shot when she can't make those drives."

In her high school career, Cannon has gained invaluable knowledge from her coach.

"Coach Allen has helped me so much," Cannon said. "She always tells us to work hard in practice and that will help you when you play in a game, but she also stresses having fun. She always wants us to have a positive experience."

At a glance

g0201jinpoBelow are the recent results and coming schedules for the Johnstown-Monroe boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 23 -- Lost to Centerburg 69-40. Riley Cannon had 14 points and Michael Kessler scored nine.

*Jan. 24 -- Lost to Eastmoor 76-32. Cannon scored 10 points, Kurt Sammons had eight and Kessler had seven.

*Last Friday -- Played Northridge

*Last Saturday -- Played East Knox

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Danville. The Johnnies won 55-38 on Dec. 19. The Blue Devils were 4-8 overall and 1-6 in the MBC before playing Fredericktown last Friday.

*Friday -- At Fredericktown. The Johnnies lost 65-58 on Jan. 13. The Freddies were 6-7 overall and 5-4 in the MBC before playing Danville last Friday.

Feb. 10 -- Home vs. Horizon Science. The Hawks were 6-7 before last Thursday's game against Bexley was postponed.

Of note: The Johnnies were 3-9 overall and 2-6 in the MBC before last Friday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 24 -- Def. Northridge 61-37. Chelsea Sager scored 12 points, Courtney Dingess had 11 points and nine rebounds, Chelsea Cannon and Michelle Fairchild scored 10 points, Katie Furr had six and Sarah Thomas had five.

*Last Monday -- Lost to Loudonville 68-63. Sager scored 18 points, Dingess had 17, Cannon had 13 points, eight rebounds and four steals and Fairchild had 11 points and five assists.

*Last Thursday -- Game vs. Danville postponed because of bad weather. No makeup date has been set.

*Last Saturday -- Played Fredericktown

Thursday -- At Granville. The Blue Aces were 10-2 before playing Heath last Saturday.

*Saturday -- Home vs. Loudonville. The Redbirds were 10-4 overall and 8-1 in the MBC after beating Fredericktown 53-30 last Thursday.

*Feb. 12 -- At East Knox. The Johnnies won 53-45 on Jan. 19. The Bulldogs were 3-11 overall and 1-9 in the MBC before last Saturday.

Of note: The Johnnies were 7-8 overall and 6-4 in the MBC before last Saturday.

WRESTLING

Last Saturday -- Competed in New Lexington Invitational

Wednesday -- At Pleasant vs. Pleasant and Findlay

*Feb. 14 -- At MBC tournament at Utica

*MBC contest