Canyon girls hoops clamps down on Highland

Canyon's Talia Taufaasau (2) shoots against Highland defender Quinique Bell (10) at Canyon on Tuesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Canyon High girls basketball took depth to a whole new level in a Tuesday night win against Highland High of Palmdale.

Every Cowboys player except for one scored in the 74-26 home victory.

“We have height, we have shooters, we have every aspect you could want in a team,” said power forward Selasi Mawugbe. “(In games) like tonight, it’s really easy for everybody to contribute. Because there’s always a different aspect they bring to the table.”

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Of the 12 players who had baskets, seven of them contributed five or more points. Brooke Mitchell, one of the team’s two sophomores, had six.

Although the Cowboys (9-6) weren’t tested on defense, they were able to display their offensive abilities.

“Everything was working well, defensively, offensively,” said coach Jessica Haayer. “(We were) just executing our offense. That’s not something we’ve been able to do that we were really trying to do.”

There was little opposition in the first quarter, as Canyon went on a scoring run that would set them up for a 31-0 lead at the end of the first frame. The trend continued, putting the squad up 47-7 by halftime.


Canyon's Selasi Mawugbe (13) scores against Highland defenders at Canyon on Tuesday. Dan Watson/The Signal
Canyon’s Selasi Mawugbe (13) scores against Highland defenders at Canyon on Tuesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Typical go-to players like Talia Taufaasau (five points) and Rachel Bowers (game-high 16 points) ended their nights early, handing the reigns to reserves.


Mawugbe was the top scorer off the bench, finishing the game with eight points.

Although the lead was large, the Cowboys didn’t let up. Whether it was Shay Ellaboudy fighting to the ground for possession of a ball or Ellie Villavicencio reaching out with one hand to pull a potential out of bounds ball back into play, they kept playing with grit.

“Throughout preleague, we started playing more Division 1 teams, so we’re playing a lot better teams and we had to work a lot harder than we had previously,” Mawugbe said. “So I think just the overall intensity, starting 100 percent and ending 100 percent in every game has been really important for us.”

Canyon begins Foothill League play on Jan. 10 against Golden Valley. It’s safe to say it’ll enter on a strong note.

“We’re feeling pretty confident,” Bowers said. “Probably the most confident we’ve been all season.”

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