Toppers rally for win over Pirates

Danni McCartney

Chardon spotted visiting Perry a 14-point lead then tightened up on defense and made key plays down the stretch to pull out a 46-43 win.

Perry led, 18-4, after the first eight minutes but the Hilltoppers outscored the Pirates, 42-25, in the final three frames to finish off the come-from-behind win.

“We dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter,” said Chardon coach Cullen Harris. “We didn’t have the mental focus or energy needed to stop a solid offensive unit like Perry. We told them after one, there’s no 14-point shot; it starts with one stop and one score and we need to chip away at it.”

The Hilltoppers pulled to within 25-16 at halftime and trailed just 34-30 entering the fourth quarter.

“We just worried about the possession we were in and took care of business one stop and one score at a time,” Harris said. “It took tremendous heart and fight to come back. It would have been easy to fold or roll over given some of the close losses we’ve had, but kids bought in and locked down defensively and gave up 25 points through the final three quarters.”

Hallie Landies scored a game-high 17 points and Grace Bradley added 12. Sydney Feller finished with six points and Faith DiLillo and Tori Butala contributed with four and three, respectively.

“Halle Landies played well on both sides of the ball. Her ceiling is really high and she’s learning how to play basketball and not just rely on being a great athlete,” Harris said. “Grace Bradley stepped up in the second half offensively scoring 10 of her 12 points and took on the assignment defensively of stopping (Claire) Dolan. She held her to two points in the fourth quarter, which was huge for us to finish our comeback. Syd and Tori made big 3s in the second half to fuel the offense and Lindsey Nichols fought through foul trouble to help run the offense and play great defense.”

Chardon outrebounded Perry, 36-29, in large part due to the effort of Danni McCartney.

“It’s always exciting to have a comeback win, especially from a 14-point deficit in the first quarter,” McCartney said. “It felt good to win a close game after we have had many losses in these types of situations. We pulled together as a team and did what we needed to defensively; that led to more success on offense as well. My mindset tonight was the same as it has been every game go in and do my job. Coach Harris needed me to rebound the ball, so when I went in I tried my best to do just that.”

Clara Lundblad and Anna Pastor also made key plays for the Hilltoppers.

“Danni McCartney rebounded like crazy and made timely defensive plays that helped seal the game. Faith DiLillo gave us good minutes and helped guard a lot of their ball screen action,” Harris said. “Clara and Anna provided needed rest for some of the starters and filled their roles well. I know it’s cliché, but it truly was a team effort to dig ourselves the hole and it was a team effort dig ourselves out of it.”

Chardon 46, Perry 43

Perry (14-3, 9-1 CVC): Dolan 16, Hacking 10, Holroyd 9, Infalvi 4, Sorine 3

Chardon (9-8, 5-5 WRC): Landies 17, Bradley 12, Feller 6, DiLillo 4, Butala 3, Lundblad 2, McCartney 2

Perry 18 7 9 9 – 43
Chardon 4 12 14 16 – 46

Field goals: Perry 15/47, Chardon 19/57; Free throws: Perry 8/12, Chardon 3/7; 3-pointers: Perry 5 (Dolan 3, Infalvi, Hacking), Chardon 5 (Feller 2, Bradley, Butala, Landies); Rebounds: Perry 29, Chardon 36;JV: Chardon over Perry


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The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.