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Prep boys hoops: Saugus takes advantage

Saugus shoots well, plays stong defense in victory

Posted: February 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.

In a way, one could say Canyon Cowboys boys basketball shot itself in the foot on Tuesday night by not taking advantage of second chances.

Or one could say the Saugus Centurions’ defense on the Cowboys was the difference.

Either way, it was shooting that played a significant role in Saugus’ 51-42 victory over Canyon at Canyon High on Tuesday.

Canyon (13-12 overall, 3-6 Foothill League) was 5-of-29 from beyond the 3-point line in the game.

The Cowboys’ offense was forced outside because of Saugus’ size inside, yet Canyon out-rebounded the Centurions.

Canyon couldn’t get the scoring advantage, though, despite multiple second chances.

In the second quarter, Canyon grabbed six offensive rebounds and each time missed its second-chance attempt.

“We gave up way too many offensive rebounds, but other than that, we played a solid game,” said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard. “They had 42 points. I think we did a good job. We were trying to figure out how to beat their defense ... and while we were trying to figure it out, our players held down the fort.”

The score was tied 33-33 early in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Canyon’s Mark Bell.

But from that point, Saugus (13-13, 3-6) went on an 8-0 run that turned out to be another difference in the game.

A big shot during the run was a 3-pointer by Chris Lockwood, who turned in maybe his best Foothill League game of the season for the Centurions.

He scored 22 points, including nine in the fourth quarter.

The senior guard chose the right time to come up big.

The victory pulled the Centurions into a fourth-place tie with Canyon in the Foothill League standings.

Saugus is 2-1 against Canyon this season, but owns two league wins against the Cowboys.

The Cents own the more favorable matchup for Friday’s league finale as they get league winless Golden Valley and Canyon gets first-place Hart.

“Coach told us before the game if we don’t win this one, we probably won’t make the playoffs,” Lockwood said. “We came out like it was win or go home.”

The worst Canyon could finish in the regular season is .500, but a win Tuesday would have been helpful.

Canyon just couldn’t get going offensively.

The Cowboys were down 14-11 after the first quarter, 24-19 after two periods and 31-28 after three.

Ben Taufahema, who was 1-of-9 from beyond the 3-point line, and Dean Hendrix-Davis led Canyon with seven points each.

“We just didn’t shoot well,” said Canyon head coach Sean DeLong. “I was so proud of the effort, though. We got everything we wanted, we just didn’t shoot well.”

Saugus also got 11 points from Amir Mirtabatabaie.



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