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Canyon’s classic

Canyon has little trouble at its own tourney with L.A. City Section team

Posted: December 10, 2008 9:58 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Canyon's Jon Lawson (50) shoots over Poly defenders Alberto Aranda (1) and Chris Zamudio (32) Wednesday in the first round of the Canyon Classic at Canyon High School.

 
The name on the pamphlets may have already read “Canyon Classic,” but the Cowboys still made sure everyone knew whose tournament it was.

The inside-outside game of Mike Edwards and Brandon Perry gave Canyon an early advantage, and its pressure defense blew the game open in an 81-49 victory over Poly of Sun Valley in the first game of the Canyon Classic Wednesday at Canyon High School.

“Poly went to the zone, and whenever we see a team start to zone, we initiate our outside game,” said Canyon head coach Chad Phillips. “Mike started it, and Brandon (Perry) finished it, so I was proud of the way they played.”

Edwards poured in 16 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, including a 44 percent clip from downtown.

Perry finished with 14 points and hounded the glass at both ends of the floor against the undersized Parrots (0-6).

The Cowboys (2-0) then dialed up their full-court press and used their athleticism to discombobulate Poly’s offense right from the inbounds pass. The strategy gave Canyon a 41-24 lead at halftime.

“That’s our game this year,” Phillips said. “We want to have a defensive-pressure game, early traps, early turnovers. I thought (Poly) did a pretty good job adjusting, sending two guys back.”

Canyon didn’t relent in the second half, continuing to pressure the ball all over the floor.

“That’s what we’re working on with our pressure, adjusting to the team,” Edwards said. “Different teams run different offenses, so we’ve got to learn to adjust to that.”

By the fourth quarter, Poly’s offense had become more one-on-one than anything, and Canyon’s Tere Adams displayed plenty of his own individual skill by scoring 10 of his 12 points in the final period.

Parrots coach David Bonino said it was indicative of the talent gap.

“We need to be more competitive,” he said. “What else can I say? Fundamentally, we’re not sound.”

Canyon was able to get into its offense thanks in large part to guards Erik Gould and Isaac Covarrubias, and if the inside-outside game stays sharp, the rest of the tournament field could run into just as many problems as Poly.

“I was feeling pretty good tonight, but if the guards don’t give me the ball, I can’t score,” Edwards said. “Once our guards get in there, it just opens everything up for everybody.”

The Cowboys will play Kennedy of Granda Hills at 7:30 p.m. in the second round of the tournament.

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