Canyon Cowboys boys’ basketball drew a familiar foe and result in the CIF Division 3AA playoffs.
Canyon went on the road and took down the Price Knights for the second time this season. The Cowboys won the game 66-46, a similar score to the teams’ first meeting this season. Canyon head coach Ali Monfared believes his team’s energy was key in round two.
“We really did a good job of pressuring them up top,” Monfared said in a phone interview. “We sustained our defensive intensity throughout the game. Our energy was great, especially on the road, from the moment we started jump roping and stretching until our final talk after the game.”
The energy led to a quick start for the Cowboys (15-14) as they took an early 11-0 lead. Price (12-11) cut the deficit but never got back into striking distance.
Canyon guard Tyler Miller set the tone on defense, reading passing lanes and getting numerous deflections. The defense translated smoothly into offense as Miller finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Cowboys’ defense forced nearly 30 turnovers on the night and Canyon worked its way to a 20-point lead to finish the game.
Seniors Lincoln Phillips and Carson Rodi were also vital for Canyon. Phillips finished with 17 points, five rebounds and seven assists, while Rodi added 15 points and seven boards.
The Green Machine will return home to host the top-seeded the St. Pius/St. Matthias Academy Warriors (25-4) on Friday.
The Warriors enter the contest on a 17-game win streak and as undefeated Camino Real League champs.
Canyon is up for the challenge, and with the team’s tough schedule all year, Monfared believes his guys have a shot at winning any game.
“We’ve played some really good teams all year long,” Monfared said. “At some point if you want to make a run in the playoffs, you’re gonna have to face those bigger teams. We feel like we’re a tough draw for any team, too.”
The Cowboys and St. Pius tip off Friday at 7 p.m. at Canyon.