Canyon boys basketball avenged the loss it took in its Foothill League opener to snap a three-game skid in a 67-53 win over West Ranch Friday night at Canyon High School.
“I’m excited for the boys,” said Canyon interim head coach Ali Monfared. “They work hard every day in practice. To see the excitement they had down there, I’m just so happy for them.”
The Cowboys (12-12 overall, 2-4 in Foothill League) were determined to get their revenge and showed it in the first quarter. They scored 18 points and forced a multitude of turnovers to get the crowd on their feet and make the Canyon High School gym roar.
Canyon senior Anthony Gallo was a field general on the court for the Cowboys. He scored 17 points in addition to creating opportunities for his teammates.
“My team was just in spots every single time and they were scoring,” Gallo said. “Everyone came in a just stepped up.”
His supporting cast included senior Anthony Regalado, who had 12 points, and junior Miles Davis, who added another 13 points.
A lack of ability to hang on to the ball left the Wildcats (12-11, 3-3) with only nine points in the first quarter.
“I don’t know if it’s a little bit of jitters, it’s just a slow start,” said West Ranch head coach Jeff Bryant. “We just weren’t knocking down shots in the first quarter. Too many turnovers and too many fresh plays.”
The score would have been much worse if it weren’t for the help of senior Clyde Seo. He scored seven of West Ranch’s nine points and saved it from a double-digit deficit with a four-point play as the buzzer rang.
“I just threw it up. I didn’t think I was going to make it,” Seo said. “I didn’t know I made it at first, then everyone went crazy. It was pretty cool.”
Seo scored a game-high 19 points. He was supported by senior Max Morales with 11 points. Jonah El-Farra, another threat on the West Ranch offense, was held in check throughout the game, only scoring 6 points.
“We’re always about our defense,” Monfared said. “They went on some runs. We didn’t let it deter us. We continued to come down and play great defense.”
In the second quarter, it seemed as if the Cowboys could do no wrong. They built their lead as high as 15 points. A three-point shot from West Ranch sophomore Sage Kita turned the tide and the Wildcats battled back to within six points by halftime.
“All year we’ve been a great second quarter team,” Bryant said. “For some reason, we start slow and decide to pick it up in the second quarter. I told these guys, ‘it’s the Foothill League. You can’t start slow, fall down 17 points and think you’re about to come back and win on the road.’”
The run the Wildcats had at the end of the half seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered. All the mistakes from the first two quarters faded away and they were able to play a more complete game.
“I’m proud of my boys for sticking in there,” Bryant said. “They didn’t give up.”
West Ranch was able to pull the game within four points on multiple occasions, but the Canyon defense wouldn’t give in, ultimately leading to a 14-point victory.
“We really just settled down during hard times,” Gallo said
Foothill League basketball will continue on Tuesday night. The Cowboys will travel to Golden Valley while West Ranch will head home to host Saugus. Both games will be at 6:30 p.m.
Hart 72, Golden Valley 38
The Indians (14-10, 4-2) rolled to another Foothill League win to bounce back from a devastating loss against Saugus.
Ty Penberthy, Jaden Penberthy and Brady Dunlap were a three-headed monster for Hart, all leading the team with 10 points. Dillon Barrientos played a big role as a distributor, dishing out six assists and Jaden dominated on the inside, grabbing 7 boards.
Luka Marich continued his reign as the Grizzlies (5-16, 0-6) star player. He racked up 10 points 5 assists.
Hart will travel to Valencia Tuesday night and the Grizzlies take on Canyon. Both games are at 6:30 p.m.