Canton picks up KLAA Association title with convincing win over Grand Blanc
PLYMOUTH – With both Canton and Grand Blanc coming off of KLAA tournament semifinal wins that needed longer than regulation to make it to the championship game, Wednesday figured to bring another nail-biting game.
But the Chiefs had other ideas.
Canton stormed out to an early 2-0 lead in the first half and after Grand Blanc managed to trim the deficit to 2-1 in the second half, the Chiefs scored the game’s final two goals to pick up the KLAA Association title for the first time since 2011, the same year the Chiefs won their last state title.
Canton head coach Mark Zemanski said that he felt his team had some momentum carry over from his team’s shootout win over Livonia Stevenson in the semifinal into Wednesday night.
“I think after playing Livonia Stevenson, who is a good team, a top five team, and to be able to play them and beat them, they came out fired up tonight,” he said. “We came out and scored a couple of goals early and kind of put them on their heels after that.”
Canton (18-0-3) opened up the scoring just four minutes into the game when Hunter Olson found the back of the net with an assist coming from Sam DeLoy to give the Chiefs an early 1-0 advantage.
Zemanski noted that getting on the board first was a big key to his team’s win on Wednesday night.
“It’s always big, because the other team always has to fight harder to win a ball,” he said. “We’re a pretty good possession team and we like to counter a lot. So they (Grand Blanc) had to chase the ball a lot and you could see they were getting tired.
Then, with just over 24 minutes remaining in the first half, the Chiefs managed to widen their lead to 2-0 when DeLoy scored a goal of his own, giving Canton some breathing room for the remainder of the first half.
“It was just a really good play by Jack Zemanski in the middle,” said Deloy of his goal. “Then I just made a run into the box, he played a nice ball through and I just had an easy finish around the goalie.”
Grand Blanc bounced back to score just over 10 minutes into the second half on a goal from Aidan Taylor, who buried a shot in the left hand side of the net to cut the Canton lead down to 2-1.
But as the clock wound down close to 10 minutes to play in the game, Canton all but put the game out of reach, as a goal from Josh Posuniak gave the Chiefs a two goal lead once again and then four minutes later, a goal from Trevor Turko sealed the win and the KLAA Association title for Canton.
Canton now looks ahead to Monday when the Chiefs kick off the state playoffs when they face Salem in the first round of the postseason.
DeLoy said that he and his teammates are confident as they enter district play, but knows they have to keep working towards making a long run over the next few weeks.
"We’re pretty confident, but we know we have to stay humble, and we have to stay grounded" he said. "We have to work hard we know that we can always improve."