Wednesday night’s Class A District semifinal game featuring Plymouth-Canton Educational Park rivals Canton and Salem took only 58 minutes to play, but it must have seemed like an eternity for the Rocks.
After jumping out to 10-0 and 16-2 first-quarter leads, the Chiefs were never threatened, winning 76-30 in a game that was played with a running clock in the second half.
Canton advanced to Friday’s 7 p.m. District final against host Northville, which nipped Detroit Catholic Central in overtime, 61-59, in Wednesday’s District nightcap.
The Chiefs’ defense stymied the Mustangs in the teams’ second regular-season clash, 42-20.
Big second quarter
Led by senior Omar Suleiman’s 17 points, 10 of the 11 players on Canton’s roster scored. Suleiman scored 11 points in the second quarter alone — the same point total as Salem’s entire team — to lead his team to a 43-13 halftime advantage.
The Chiefs kept their feet on the gas pedal in the third quarter, outscoring Salem 20-5 to secure a 63-18 lead with eight minutes to play.
The lopsided outcome was a bit surprising given Salem proved to be a competitive foe for the Chiefs in their two regular-season match-ups, especially on Jan. 10 when Canton needed a buzzer-beating more-than-half-court shot from Suleman to escape a Salem upset bid, 68-65.
Canton (17-7) has won eight consecutive games.
Tough night for Rocks
Salem’s leading scorer was senior center Henry Rummel, who netted seven points. Ryan Peters and Eric Milt Jr. both contributed six.
Canton, which out-rebounded the much-smaller Rocks 27-12, received 14 points from Bradley Eziuka. Three Chiefs scored nine points each: Dante Favor (to go along with eight rebounds), Alexander Persinger (who swished all three of his three-point attempts) and Caleb Williams.
The most spectacular two points of the night came courtesy of Canton senior Gardayee Walker, who hammered home a put-back slam in the fourth quarter.
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