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Canyon surges late against Saugus

Posted: February 11, 2014 10:52 p.m.
Updated: February 11, 2014 10:52 p.m.

The Canyon High Cowboys entered Tuesday night’s game as favorites over Saugus.

But for the first three quarters, it’s safe to say the Cowboys slept on the Centurions.

The Cowboys (21-5 overall, 5-4 in Foothill) needed a 15-0 run to start the fourth quarter to pull out a 66-51 win at Saugus High.

“Our minds clicked (entering the fourth quarter). We didn’t wake up soon enough,” said Canyon’s Ben Taufahema. “We didn’t come out wanting it like they wanted it.”

The Cowboys of the first three frames played intense defense only in spurts, settled for jump shots and allowed the Foothill League last place Centurions to hang around.

If it wasn’t for Canyon’s Ben Taufahema, the Cowboys may not have even led 39-32 at halftime. Taufahema made three of his six 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 25 points in the game.

“Ben can get all the shots he wants. He took over, but stayed within the offense,” said Canyon head coach Sean DeLong. “He was killing shots and it was nothing but net for him.”

Neither team scored many points in the paint during the first half. Saugus shot 4-for-9 on 3-pointers, all from Jacob Tobon and Keegan Alexander.

The Centurions scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to build a 40-32 lead. Canyon made only two field goals in the quarter but closed on an 8-2 run to trail 42-40 heading to the fourth.

The Cowboys of the fourth quarter dove for loose balls, pressured Saugus into turnovers and attacked the basket.

Canyon outscored Saugus 24-9 in the final frame.

Saugus has tested almost every team in the Foothill League but has often faded late in games.

“It comes down to the same thing,” said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard, “The kids battle like crazy and at the end of the game the opponent makes shots and we miss.”

Tobon led the Centurions with 19 points and made only one field goal in the second half.


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