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Canyon basketball: Canyon gets cooled off

Cowboys finish as runner-up in their own tournament while also suffering first loss

Posted: December 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Canyon forward Clay Kasdorf (55) works his way through a group of Crespi defenders on Saturday night in the championship game of the Canyon Classic tournament at Canyon High School. Kasdorf led the team with 17 points, but Canyon lost the game 57-40.

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The Canyon boys basketball team got off to a hot start this season, winning its first seven games and advancing to the championship game of the Canyon Classic on Saturday.

And that’s when the Cowboys faced their toughest test yet, falling 57-40 to Crespi High of Encino in a contest that saw the Celts use a dominating second quarter to effectively put the game away early at Canyon High School.

With the referees letting the teams play through contact for most of the night, the Celts benefited from a high-pressure, physical style of play to outscore the Cowboys (7-1) in the second quarter 16-4 and take a 26-8 lead into the half.

“The way they played benefited with the way they called the game,” said Canyon head coach Chad Phillips. “Crespi did a good job of utilizing their strengths.”

The Celts (5-0) attacked the basket on almost every possession, helping Crespi get to the free throw line 32 times, compared with Canyon’s seven free-throw attempts.

Crespi’s Michael Milligan Jr. led the way for the Celts, scoring a game-high 18 points with teammate London Perrantes scoring 11 points.

The Cowboys got to the championship in large part due to the play of seniors Clay Kasdorf and Coley Apsay, but on Saturday the pair were shut down for most of the night.

“The defense obviously was very effective,” said Crespi head coach Russell White. “We focused on Apsay and Kasdorf and we did a great job on them for 25 minutes.”

Apsay finished 2-of-9 from the field for five points and Kasdorf added 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting with 13 of those points coming in the final quarter.

Sophomore Dean Hendrix-Davis added eight points in three quarters but fouled out of the game with 4:35 to play in the third when a double foul was called.

Phillips was whistled for a technical foul for arguing the play.

The loss wasn’t all negative for the Cowboys, though, with Phillips adding that the experience that comes with playing a team of Crespi’s caliber in the preleague season will be invaluable when Foothill League play begins.

“We’ll refer back to this game all season long,” Phillips said. “We’ll remind (the players) why we played this (game)”
Notes: Canyon’s Apsay and Kasdorf were named to the all-tournament team along with Crespi’s Michael Avery and Michael Milligan, Jr. Crespi’s Perrantes was named the tournament’s MVP.

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