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A momentous win for Canyon

Cowboys girls hoops scores first win against Indians in recent memory

Posted: January 20, 2009 10:56 p.m.
Updated: January 21, 2009 4:59 a.m.

Canyon's Brooke Lemar drives down the court against Hart during the second quarter Tuesday at Canyon High School. Lemar's 20 points helped lead Canyon past the Indians 67-56.

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With two teams trying to prove the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, one team also showed its still alive in the race for a Foothill League title.

The Canyon girls basketball team defeated Hart 67-56 Tuesday night at Canyon High.

In the wake of Canyon losing Vanessa Aguilar and Alexa Davison to residency falsification, and Hart losing Amanda Corona to the same issue, both teams are working to create new identities.

“The kids really want this for themselves because they feel like they have been doubted — like the transfers made the team,” said Canyon interim head coach Todd Jackson. “But they’re here and they are still a good team.”

The first half was a defensive struggle that saw neither team take leads of more than three points until the end of the half when Canyon (3-16, 2-1) scored four straight points to take a 38-33 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Hart (0-17, 0-4) jumped out quickly to a 40-37 lead thanks to three straight trips to the free throw line.

However, the end of the third turned out to be the turning point in the game when back-to-back 3-pointers from Brooke Lemar that broke the game open.

“She is a phenomenal player and a great leader,” Jackson said. “We really need that right now.”

After losing two key players, and its head coach, Lemar has taken on a heavy load.

She scored 20 points Tuesday after a 30-point effort against Golden Valley on Friday.

“Right now she has embraced it and we have been waiting for that,” Jackson said. “The team needs a leader and she is that emotional leader.”

On the floor, Lemar’s play sparked Canyon on both ends of the floor, causing multiple turnovers in the press, and hitting some big shots late. None were bigger than her last 3-pointer with 1:13 left in the third to give Canyon a 51-46 lead.

“That end of the third quarter was huge,” said Hart head coach Zach Koebel. “We got a little worn down mentally and we got away from what we do every day and fell into Canyon’s game.”

Canyon’s transition game allowed the Cowboys to take a 55-48 lead into the final frame. Seven fourth quarter turnovers from the Indians led to fast break points for the Cowboys.

Canyon’s Adriana Dent then added a clutch 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down with 3:14 left to give Canyon a 62-52 lead and all the points it would need.

Canyon had to forfeit 11 wins after the discovery of residency falsification.
The Indians gave up six victories.

“This is an opportunity to grow,” Koebel said. “The sign of character is how you handle adversity and these girls have played great. Our roles are re-defining themselves every day.”

For Canyon, it’s just about proving itself, and beating Hart for the first time in memory was a start.

“It is big for them,” Jackson said of beating Hart. “This may be the first time they ever beat them, but they just want to win regardless of who they play and show they are still a team.”

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