Canyon boys basketball pulls away from Golden Valley in second half

Canyon senior forward Willie Yomba jams it home in a Foothill League matchup against Golden Valley at Canyon Tuesday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

The Canyon and Golden Valley boys basketball teams battled on the court on Tuesday night at Canyon High School, with the Cowboys taking a 29-28 lead into halftime.

However, Canyon was able to pull away in the second half defeating Golden Valley 75-64.

Junior guard Anthony Gallo led the way for the Cowboys with 24 points, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

He made 2-of-3 3-pointers and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Canyon junior point guard Anthony Gallo gets around Golden Valley sophomore Josiah Gatewood for the layup in a Foothill League matchup against Golden Valley at Canyon Tuesday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“We started slow but the second half we knew we had to pick it up and we all did,” Gallo said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work over the summer and at this point, this is how I should play. I’m very confident in my game.”

Willie Yomba was second on the team in scoring with 21 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out three assists and had two steals.

Yomba was aggressive from the first whistle, driving the lane and drawing contact to get to the free throw line or find his teammates.

The senior went to the charity stripe a whopping 18 times, making 15 of them.

“He didn’t settle tonight. Everything was going inside and getting teammates involved too,” Canyon head coach Sean DeLong said of Yomba. “I love the way he took it and got to the free throw line, 15 out of 18, I’ll take that any night.”

The Cowboys also got great energy from their bench, as Ryan Sloan, Cole Sy, Anthony Regalado and Corwin Daugharty all contributed whenever they were on the floor.

Canyon senior guard Cole Sy goes up for a layup in a Foothill League matchup
against Golden Valley at Canyon Tuesday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Sloan led the second unit with eight points, three rebounds and an assist.

“We don’t win without the bench. We told everybody tonight we needed 32 mins from all 14 guys, it was our only chance,” DeLong said. “They played hard and everybody contributed.”

“It’s probably the most important thing. We all need to be united as one,” Gallo added. “We need every single person in order to win and everyone came to play.”

The Grizzlies kept the game close through three quarters behind a solid shooting display from beyond the arc.

Golden Valley made eight 3-pointers total, with senior guard Kenan Quila hitting three long bombs. Sophomore Cameron McRae added two 3-pointers.

Freshman Dashaun Warren played big for the Grizzlies, finishing with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.

At the end of the third quarter, Warren hit a big corner 3-ball to cut the deficit to three points heading into the final quarter, but Canyon was able to pull away by outscoring Golden Valley by eight points to secure the victory.

Golden Valley drops to 3-18 overall and 0-7 in Foothill League and will look to rebound on the road against Saugus on Friday.

Canyon moves to 10-15 overall and 3-4 in league with a home matchup against Hart on the docket.

“It sounds cliche, but we have to play for four quarters. Every play, every guy and when we do that we can be really really good,” DeLong said. “We’re still learning how to do that. That’s the next goal: 32 minutes, 14 guys.”

Valencia 84, Hart 71

Jake Hlywiak paced the Vikings with 19 points and Richard Kawakami added 18. Kevin Konrad scored 13 points, Jayden Trower scored 12 and Josh Assiff scored 10.

Valencia is now 19-5 overall and 7-0 in league play. The team next plays at West Ranch on Friday.

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