Girls Basketball

Cannon’s free throws, blocked shot leads Johnstown to district title

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Junior forward Paige Cannon sank the decisive free throws and blocked a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds of overtime to lift the Johnstown-Monroe High School girls basketball team over Fredericktown 43-41 in a Division III district final March 2 at Worthington Christian Middle School.

It is the first district championship for the second-seeded Johnnies, who improved to 22-4. Johnstown will play Proctorville Fairland (23-0) or Portsmouth West (14-11) in a regional semifinal at 8 p.m. March 6 at Logan. The winner will play for a regional title 1:30 p.m. March 9 at the same site. Fredericktown finished 21-5.

“I really don’t remember much other than blocking the shot,” said Cannon, who finished with 11 points and five rebounds. “We didn’t want them to shoot a 3(-pointer), and if we were going to foul them we had to make sure they didn’t make the bucket and then go to the foul line.”

Fredericktown senior guard Kayla Casto tied the score at 37 to send the game into overtime. Cannon hit a pair of free throws with 1 minute, 6 seconds left in overtime and the Johnstown defense held on for the win.

Junior guard Laiken Valentine led the Johnnies with 14 points and five assists. Junior forward Makenzie Spang added eight points and senior guard Marissa Sheets and junior guard Natalie Carpenter had five points apiece

Casto led the fourth-seeded Freddies with 14 points and junior forward Emily Williams added 13 points.

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