The Canyon boys basketball team had a pretty solid understanding of what it was up against in facing Sierra Canyon on Tuesday afternoon.
A late entrant into the Hart Holiday Classic, Sierra Canyon toats one of the top teams in the state and was ranked No. 3 in the opening CIF-Southern Section Division 1 poll.
Scottie Pippen Jr., son of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, and Kenyon Martin Jr., son of the former NBA All-Star, make up a fraction of a roster loaded with future NCAA Division 1 talent.
Pippen and Martin watched courtside as their sons helped take down Canyon to the tune of 92-34.
“It was pretty surreal at times,” said Canyon coach Alex Dunwoody of seeing Pippen and Martin across the floor from where he was perched for the contest. “But at the same time, I was keeping the focus on my guys. It was good to have my kids go up and compete against players like they have, and to keep battling.”
Sierra Canyon jumped out to a 12-0 lead out of the gate, mostly on the back of high-flying dunks and flashy alley-oops that had Hart’s gym nearly filled to capacity.
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Dunwoody shuffled players in-and-out frequently to get them exposure against the top-flight talent. Anthony Regalado led the Cowboys with nine points, all coming off 3-pointers. Senior Brody Briscoe was second on the team with eight points.
Sierra Canyon jumped out to a 49-18 lead at the half.
“We told our kids from the beginning that we schedule tough kids for a reason,” Dunwoody said. “We’re very young, a lot of sophomore playing right now. For them to get experience playing against a team like Sierra Canyon is invaluable.
“It’s only going to help us when we get into the Foothill League games. We could go out and give ourselves an easier schedule, but we want to be challenged.”
Duane Washington Jr., an Ohio State commit, led Sierra Canyon with 18 points. Martin Jr. had 17 points and Pippen Jr. added 12 points.
The Trailblazers were without Cassius Stanley, who’s ranked as the No. 1 shooting guard in the nation and No. 1 overall player in California, per the 247Sports composite rankings.
“We just tried to execute because we know a lot of them were bigger and stronger than our kids,” Dunwoody said. “But at the same time, we’re teaching our kids if we get to the right spots, we can get wide-open looks. We just didn’t hit as many as we normally do.”
Andrew Guaderrama was third on the Cowboys with five points. Canyon continues play in the Hart Holiday Classic on Wednesday against Granada Hills.