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Canyon boys basketball wins blowout

Cowboys down overmatched Pythons squad 53-18

Posted: December 10, 2013 10:48 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2013 10:48 p.m.

Canyon's Ben Taufahema (3) dribbles the ball past a Panorama High defender during Tuesday night's game at Canyon High.

The 2013 boys basketball season may have just started, but it’s already beyond a doubt that the Canyon Cowboys are a better team than the Panorama Pythons.

After opening the season with a win over the Pythons on Dec. 3, the Cowboys again downed Panorama convincingly, this time 53-18 in the first round of the Canyon Classic tournament on Tuesday night at Canyon High School.

In their previous matchup, the Cowboys won 80-35.

“We talked about this all week — we could have easily entered this game resting on our good start to the season,” said Canyon head coach Sean DeLong. “But if we want to have the special season we’ve been talking about, we have to come into every game as if it were the league championship.”

Canyon returns four starters from last year’s squad in forward Dean Hendrix-Davis and guards Mark Bell, Marc Cabrera and Ben Taufehema.

Due to the group’s familiarity, the Cowboys (5-1) have started the new season with the chemistry of a team in midseason form.

In trying to match Canyon’s up-tempo style of play, the Pythons turned the ball over 22 times and were held to just seven points through the first part of three quarters, when De Long pulled his starters with the game well in hand at 53-7.

Perhaps no other sequence of plays encapsulated the type of night Canyon had, or Panorama didn’t have, than a flurry by the Cowboys in the middle of the second quarter.

Up 31-5, Cabrera (who led all scorers with 16 points) found Hendrix-Davis for an alley-oop off of an in-bound pick and roll play.

Twelve seconds, later Taufehema blocked a shot before scoring on a fastbreak layup at the other end.

Yet, while Tuesday’s action was a good preview of how good the Canyon’s starting five can be, it also raised some red flags about the team’s depth.

After subbing in for the starters with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Canyon’s second team failed to score a point.

Still the Cowboys won comfortably, and set a new tournament record for fewest points allowed in a game.

Canyon will take on a Sun Valley team that lost by 45 points in its opening round matchup today at 7:45 p.m.

Note: Also participating in this year’s Canyon Classic are the Santa Clarita Christian School and Trinity Classical Academy basketball teams, a first for both squads.

SCCS lost its opening round game 57-49 to Newbury Park, while Trinity defeated Simi Valley 52-41.

In the latter game, Ryan Brooks, Spencer Klehn and Michael Mateo combined for 43 of the Knights’ 52 points.

SCCS and Trinity now face each other for the second time this season at 4:45 p.m. today.

The Cardinals won 68-42 the first time the two teams met.


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