Canyon boys basketball got off to a hot start and didn’t look back, trampling Golden Valley 67-53 Friday night at Canyon High School.
“We improved in areas we needed to improve in,” said Canyon head coach Sean DeLong. “I was proud of the second half and really shut them down in the third quarter. That’s kind of been our M-O this year.”
The Grizzlies (5-10 overall, 0-2 in Foothill League) got off to a slow start as the Cowboys (11-9, 1-1) rocketed in front of them before Golden Valley head coach Chris Printz called a timeout. At that point, Canyon led 9-1 with Golden Valley’s lone point coming on a free throw.
“Any time you start slow it’s going to affect you, especially on the road,” Printz said. “The goal is to make sure that you get off quick. When you allow a team to start the game and get into a rhythm more quickly, it makes your task that much more difficult.”
The timeout proved fruitful to Golden Valley. Back-to-back 3-pointers brought the Grizzlies within a possession of the Cowboys. However, the Cowboys didn’t let Golden Valley take over the momentum and shut down its offense for the remainder of the quarter to lead 15-7.
The Cowboys continued to build their lead in the second quarter. Efficient shooting by the Cowboys’ two big men, Matt Heyne and Connor Cooper, put Canyon up 29-13 before Printz called another timeout. The timeout proved effective yet again as the Grizzlies were able to claw into the lead and bring it back to single digits before halftime.
“I think it was more the fact that in the first half all the play calls are at the opposite end,” Printz said. “So, it’s hard to hear. When we’re able to call timeout, we’re able to all get on the same page.”
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The Cowboys put a giddy-up in their step in the third quarter. The defense locked down the paint and the offense took advantage of a stagnant Golden Valley squad. They managed to get their lead back up to 16 points at the end of the third quarter.
Canyon only ramped up the scoring in the final quarter of play. It was able to extend its lead up to 27 points before it took its foot of the gas and coasted to the finish line.
“We played great defense,” said Canyon’s Anthony Gallo. “We pride ourselves on that. We wanted to make them take tough shots and we were able to hit on the other end.”
The Grizzlies took the last three-and-a-half minutes to try and erase their deficit, but it proved too much to handle as they lost by 14 points.
Gallo lead the Cowboys in scoring with 20 points with 17 of them coming in the first three quarters. He used a majority of the fourth quarter to spread the ball around and get his teammates involved.
“My teammates were always open and they were making their shots too,” Gallo said. “It’s a team game and we got the win. That’s all that matters.”
Miles Davis and Anthony Regalado were also keys to the Cowboy offense, scoring nine points apiece. Heyne and Cooper – both with eight points – were defensive machines and were responsible for keeping Golden Valley away from the basket.
“That was all Coach and Coach’s scouting,” said Heyne. “We watched some film and knew what they were going to do. We kept them out of the paint, switching on the outside and keeping the bigs on the inside. We just went with the game plan.”
Dwawn Banks and Luka Marich were a bright spot for the Grizzlies on a dark day. Banks led the scoring with 17 points. Marich had 14 points.
Both teams will get back to the hardwood Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Golden Valley with travel to Saugus and Canyon will stay at home to take on Hart.
West Ranch 75, Saugus 69
The Wildcats (11-8, 2-0) picked up their second league win of the year while the Centurions (12-7, 0-2) slid into their second loss.
Jonah El-Farra finished with a double-double to lead West Ranch in scoring and rebounds with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Sage Kita had 17 points and five rebounds and Clyde Seo had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
For the Centurions, Adrian McIntyre had 20 points, six assists and three steals. Nate Perez was close behind with 17 points and seven rebounds. Davis White had just as many boards as Perez with seven and scored 11 points.
West Ranch head coach Jeff Bryant said the plan was to take Perez and McIntyre out of the game to give his Wildcats an advatange.
“They did that. The boys followed the game plan to a T. We’re ready,” he said.
Valencia 82, Hart 64
The Vikings (13-4, 2-0) marched on to their second league win of the season over Hart (11-9, 1-1), this time more decisively than the contest on Tuesday.
Noah Veluzat led the Vikings once again with 26 points. He also tallied four assists and five rebounds. Jake Hlywiak and Kevin Konrad each had 16 points Tuesday night. Hlywiak also had 6 rebounds while Konrad had 8. Gilbert Camacho got in on the scoring parade with 11 points.