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’Boys get first league victory

Cowboys rally in fourth quarter behind Lawson and Perry

Posted: January 23, 2009 10:02 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
After trailing most of the game, Canyon rode a fourth-quarter comeback to pick up its first win, 63-58, Friday at home against Saugus.

The Cowboys (7-13, 1-3) were led by 17 points from Jonathan Lawson and 16 from Brandon Perry. Both big men also threw down dunks in the first half that brought the crowd to its feet.

“We’ve definitely paid our dues and deserve this,” Lawson said. “It’s really nice to break the losing streak.”

It didn’t look like Canyon was on its way to breaking its losing streak at halftime. Behind the hot shooting of Noel Mansour, who dropped 11 points before the intermission, the Centurions (10-10, 2-2) were ahead 33-24 at the break.

“We’ve been in tight games all season,” said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard. “Unfortunately, we’ve lost the majority of them. In games like this one, bad things just seem to happen to us lately.”

Bad things for Saugus started happening in the third quarter when the Centurions were whistled for seven fouls, which put the team in the penalty with more than a quarter to play. Canyon cashed in for five free throws on six attempts in the third.

“There’s no quit in our boys,” said Canyon head Chad Phillips. “We’ve been working really hard to step our game up, and I think that showed tonight.”

Canyon clearly stepped its game up on the defensive end of the floor thanks largely to the efforts of Michael Edwards, who locked down Mansour in the second half, holding the Saugus sharpshooter to a lone bucket in the second half.

“At halftime, coach challenged me to stay on (Mansour) as tightly as possible so that’s what I was focused on,” Edwards said. “Coach told us this is our team, and this was our game to win.”

The Cowboys relied heavily on their superior size to pick up their first Foothill League victory. With three 6-foot-6 players on the floor most of the game, Canyon had a trio taller than Saugus’ biggest player.

“Rebounding was big for us,” Lawson said. “It was a team effort from every player.”

Canyon’s march to the charity stripe was also a key. The Cowboys drained five free throws down the stretch, but Canyon also missed 10 freebies in the fourth quarter.

“I’m really proud of how our guys played,” Phillips said. “We knew they were going to bring a lot of pressure, and we handled it well.”

Canyon handled the Saugus pressure especially well in the fourth quarter when the Cowboys went on a 20-9 run to secure the win.

“We had good ball movement,” Edwards said. “That was how our offense is supposed to be run.”
Canyon will attempt to keep its offense running smoothly at Valencia on Tuesday, and Saugus is set to visit Hart.

“This win is sweet for us,” Phillips said. “Hopefully, we will be able to build on this.”


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