Steady pressure lifts Saugus boys hoops over Canyon

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Riding a two-game losing streak, Saugus boys basketball found itself trailing Canyon late in the first quarter on Tuesday.

That’s when Zach Phipps went to work, scoring the Centurions’ next nine points as Saugus pulled away for a 69-47 road victory over the Cowboys on Tuesday night.

“Those points come from teamwork,” said Phipps, whose squad improved to 14-7 overall and 3-2 in the Foothill League.  “If we work together we can build each other up.”

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The Cowboys (5-16, 0-5) galloped out of the gates behind Josue Valencia’s six first-quarter points. A Camden Apsay 3-pointer brought the lead to 13-8, but the home team wouldn’t score again until the opening minutes of the second quarter.

Phipps’ phenomenal offensive output was part of the 13-2 run that immediately followed, punctuated by a fast-break layup from Centurion freshman Adrian McIntyre.  His four second quarter points helped Saugus lead 29-22 at halftime.

“We looked hyper to start the game,” said Saugus coach Bill Bedgood.  “Once we settled down, we realized our pressure would wear them down throughout the game.”

The loss brings Canyon to 0-5 in Foothill play, marking the first time since its move from the Golden League before the 1992-93 season that the program has started league play 0-5.

Saugus’ Anthony McIntyre scored two points in the first half after finding himself in early foul trouble.  The senior set the tone at the start of the third quarter, scoring the first bucket of the second half, and tallied 10 points, two assists, a steal, and a block in transition in the third frame.

Anthony McIntyre finished with 14 points in the game, while Phipps notched 22, as the duo helped put the game to rest in a final quarter that saw Saugus outscore Canyon 22-15.

The Cowboys begin the second round of Foothill play when they host Golden Valley on Friday night.

Saugus will look to sweep its series against Hart and get its first league win at home as it takes on the Indians.

“Friday night against Hart is everything,” Bedgood said.  “We’re expecting to get at them at home.”

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