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Foothill League boys basketball: The Cowboys come together

Canyon boys recover after disappointing losses

Posted: January 25, 2011 10:35 p.m.
Updated: January 26, 2011 4:55 a.m.

Canyon boys basketball was getting tired of watching other teams celebrate at its expense.

So it made sure to put that possibility to rest quickly in a 63-36 victory over Golden Valley Tuesday night at Golden Valley High.

In two of its last three Foothill League games, Canyon gave up double-digit leads and eventually lost.

The resulting celebrations by Saugus fans on Jan. 14 and West Ranch fans on Friday stuck with Canyon head coach Chad Phillips.

“We needed a coming together party,” Phillips said. “I think we’ve seen two teams celebrate like they won a league title against us, and that can be demoralizing. We needed to celebrate this win.”

At first, it didn’t look like it’d be so easy for the Cowboys (15-6, 3-2), who initially wanted to run a slower-paced half-court offense.

Golden Valley (4-15, 0-5) had other plans, and opted to play pressure man-to-man and force the issue.

It was working for a while, resulting in a 5-4 Grizzlies lead midway through the opening frame.

“Their pressure dictated how we played on offense,” Phillips said. “They decided to hand-check us and play us 50 feet from the basket.”

Fortunately for Canyon, junior guard Coley Apsay was plenty happy attacking off the dribble.

He led all players with 22 points.

“We decided to just go,” Apsay said of the response to Golden Valley’s defense. “If the layup was there, take it. If not, kick it out and start over.”

And that pretty much summed up the next three quarters of the game.

If it wasn’t Apsay, it was likely forward Clay

Kasdorf, who scored 20 points despite fouling out with 6:11 to play.

The two of them anchored a dominant 24-6 third quarter score where the Cowboys extended their 29-16 halftime lead to 53-22 entering the fourth quarter.

“It’s a total embarrassment,” said Golden Valley head coach Myron Watkins. “We didn’t come out to play, and we played selfish. It’s an embarrassment for the whole program, a huge step back.”

The loss came after a stretch of games where Watkins felt like his team was steadily improving.

Throughout the game, the Grizzlies’ offense looked out of sync and disorganized.

In the third quarter, Golden Valley attempted just six shots as a team, and just 33 in the game.

Sophomore Bijon Isles scored six to lead Golden Valley.

“This team is up-and-down,” Watkins said. “Sometimes I don’t know what team’s going to show up.”

For Canyon, it was the lowest point-total it has held an opponent to this season.

“Ultimately, I was more impressed with the way we defended,” Phillips said.

Now half way through the league season, Canyon hopes the rollercoaster ride of the first five games has prepared it for games down the stretch.

“Is it where we wanted to be with wins and losses? Not exactly,” Phillips said. “But I like where we’re going.”


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